Gio Urshela hit an early two-run home run, Jordan Montgomery pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the New York Yankees edged the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Wednesday night.
The Yankees secured at least a split of the four-game series and beat Tampa Bay for the fourth time in the past six meetings after opening the season series 1-5.
Urshela gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead four batters in when the right-handed hitting third baseman lined a 365-foot homer from Shane McClanahan (2-1) into the right field seats moments after Aaron Judge just avoided hitting into a double play.
Clint Frazier, who hit a game-ending two-run homer in the 11th inning Tuesday, added a two-run single. The Yankees won their second after scoring just six runs in a four-game losing streak that included a three-game sweep in Detroit over the weekend.
Montgomery (3-1) allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out six and walked two in a 99-pitch outing.
It was the left-hander’s second straight win over Tampa Bay after he allowed eight runs in his first two outings against the Rays this year.
Montgomery started the seventh by misplaying Joey Wendle’s soft grounder for an error and allowing a single to rookie Taylor Walls. After striking out Brett Phillips, he exited to a nice hand from the limited-capacity Yankee Stadium crowd of 13,824.
The Rays got within a run after pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi hit an infield single off Jonathan Loaisiga’s glove to second baseman Rougned Odor, who was shifted up the middle. Loaisiga then ended the inning by retiring Austin Meadows on a groundout.
Chad Green worked a scoreless eighth and Aroldis Chapman survived a shaky ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. Chapman opened the inning with consecutive walks but struck out Randy Arozarena and Choi before retiring Meadows.
Tampa Bay scored its first two runs on an RBI groundout by Manuel Margot in the fourth and a sacrifice fly by Yandy Diaz in the fifth.
Tampa Bay dropped consecutive games for the first time since May 11-12, also against the Yankees. It was only the third loss in 19 games for the Rays, who lead New York 7-5 in the season series.
McClanahan allowed four runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
–Field Level Media