Yandy Diaz chopped in the go-ahead run as the Tampa Bay Rays earned their first win in their four-game series against the New York Yankees, rallying past their American League East rival 3-1 Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.
In a 1-1 game in the seventh, Tampa Bay took its first series lead by producing three hits, the final one Diaz’s two-out high hopper to third that plated Francisco Mejia.
That run was made possible after previous batter Taylor Walls hustled to beat out a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder.
Mejia went 2-for-3 with a double and a run, and Randy Arozarena and Manuel Margot each had a hit and an RBI. Wander Franco tripled and scored.
Relievers J.P. Feyereisen (4-0) and Colin Poche (second save) each pitched a perfect inning.
Corey Kluber made his first start against the Yankees since leaving them after last season and was strong over six innings. He allowed one run on three hits to go along with five strikeouts.
DJ LeMahieu scored and had a double, one of the Yankees’ four hits.
Starter Gerrit Cole didn’t allow a hit over 4 2/3 innings, but he left with a no-decision after six frames in a 10-strikeout outing. He yielded one run on two hits and three walks.
Lucas Luetge (1-2) allowed a run in the seventh.
In the lineup for the first time since Monday, leadoff hitter LeMahieu set the table right away by doubling off the right field wall. After advancing on Aaron Judge’s single, he scored on Anthony Rizzo’s sacrifice fly to center.
In the first four innings, Cole occasionally topped out at 100 mph on his fastball and held the home side hitless with seven whiffs. The right-hander faced just one batter over the minimum on a leadoff walk to Diaz in Tampa Bay’s first at-bat.
With two outs in the fifth, Mejia broke up any thought of a no-hitter by rapping a 90 mph changeup cleanly through the middle infield for a single.
In the sixth, Cole appeared to get an inning-ending punchout on a 3-2 fastball against Ji-Man Choi, but the offering was called a ball, visibly annoying the pitcher. He then walked Franco on four pitches before Arozarena poked an RBI single over shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Margot lashed a run-scoring single in the eighth — extending his hitting streak to 15 games — to score Franco, who opened with a triple.
–Field Level Media