Yankees beat Rays 2-1 after Judge’s big offense, Montas’ dominant pitch

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New York Yankees 2, Tampa Bay Rays 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Aaron Judge and Frankie Montas led from the front to make sure that the New York Yankees beat Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday. This averted a three-game series sweep at Tropicana Field by the home team.

Aaron Judge hit his 53rd home run to start the game.

Judge hit more home runs than he did as a rookie in 2017, when he hit 52. He also hit a double, a single, and both runs for New York.

“We were focused on today,” Judge told reporters. He bared, “We really didn’t focus on the past two days, and I think that’s what helped us go out there and get this one today.”

Frankie Montas (5-11), who pitched five scoreless innings, kept Tampa Bay from getting a hit. This helped the Yankees extend their lead over Tampa Bay to five games. On July 10, the Rays were 15 1/2 games behind.

Carapazza threw out Boone in the fifth inning for arguing after Taylor Walls of Tampa Bay reached on catcher’s interference.

After the Yankees won a very important game, manager Aaron Boone greeted the players outside the clubhouse door. He had been thrown out of the game but stayed to watch the second half.

“It’s way more nerve-wrecking up here,” an elated Boone spoke, “My pacemaker was kicking into overdrive.”

Tampa Bay tried to rally against Clay Holmes, the fourth Yankees reliever. David Peralta doubled and scored on Francisco Mejia’s one-out single.

Jonathan Aranda doubled with two outs before Holmes struck out Yandy Diaz looking. Vic Carapazza called strike three as Diaz was heading to first base. Diaz smashed his helmet.

Holmes’s last pitch, at 101.7 mph, was the fastest he had ever thrown. His only other 100-plus pitch in his career was also against Diaz earlier in the season.

Josh Donaldson argued a 3-0 pitch from Rays starter Shawn Armstrong in the second inning. Donaldson yelled at the right-hander, but no problems arose.

“It gets your attention,” Boone opined over the incident. According to him”He’s just saying get it down. That’s just heat of the moment competition.”

Judge hit Armstrong’s second pitch into the left-field stands. The slugger, who homered in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Rays, flew out to center with two on to end the eighth.

Judge hit a double to start the seventh inning. He moved to third on a groundout by DJ LeMahieu and scored on a sacrifice fly by Oswaldo Cabrera to make it 2-0.

Montas (5-11) was pulled after 93 pitches and seven strikeouts. The right-hander, 0-2 with a 7.01 ERA in his first five starts since being acquired from Oakland, has limited the Rays to one earned run in 18 1/3 innings.

LeMahieu hit a foul ball with runners on first and second and one out in the fifth. Boone said the ball hit the net, but a video review upheld the call.

Giancarlo Stanton flew out to deep right to end the fifth inning. Since returning from an Achilles heel injury, he has had four hits in 35 at-bats.

UP NEXT

On Monday in New York, Jameson Taillon (12-4) of the Yankees and Chris Archer (2-7) of Minnesota will take the mound. Taillon had an injury scare earlier after a line ball hit him in the right forearm.

Can the Yankees maintain their winning ways and the AL East lead? Do you have any messages for Yankee fans?

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