Yankees beat Rays 9-8 with two Judge homers

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New York Yankees 9, Tampa Bay Rays 8

NEW YORK — Even when an All-Star ace pitcher is on the field, a six-run lead doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

Less than a week after seeing Tampa Bay come back from being down 6-0 in the fifth inning against Gerrit Cole to win, the Yankees were behind Shane McClanahan by the same score.

“They did it to us. Let’s do it to them,” Anthony Rizzo remembered saying to teammates in New York’s dugout.

Aaron Judge hit two home runs that scored two runs each, and Anthony Volpe gave the Yankees a boost by breaking Joe DiMaggio’s team record for straight stolen bases at the beginning of a career. This helped the Yankees beat the Rays 9-8.

“Wow, it’s crazy,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Taylor Walls hit a single that put his team ahead in the second, and Yandy Diaz hit his first grand slam against Nestor Cortes during a five-run fifth. Wander Franco’s double got rid of Cortes, and Jimmy Cordero (3-1) let Randy Arozarena hit an infield single with two outs that scored a run. The play was called an out at first, but a video review changed the call. Isaac Paredes was out because of a groundout by Cordero.

“Hey guys. Let’s go! We got this!” Judge recalled Cordero telling his teammates in the middle of the fifth. “That kind of pumped everybody up.”

New York batted around in two straight innings, which was part of a 2 1/2-inning stretch in which 22 of the 37 players reached base.

Judge found his swing after going 3 for 15 in his first game back from being on the injured list because of a strained hip. He was wearing pink spikes and was at the field with his mother Patty for Mother’s Day. His home runs were his first since April 19, giving him 29 games with two or more home runs.

In the bottom of the fifth, Jake Bauers walked to start the inning, and Kyle Higashioka hit a two-run homer on a changeup. Gleyber Torres walked, and then Judge hit a home run to right center on a low slider that was thrown inside to him.

“These are some of the funnest games we’ve played all year,” Judge said. “They’re bringing it every single night and we’re bringing it every single night. It’s a lot of dirty at-bats, grinding at-bats.”

Volpe started the sixth with a bunt single to the left side off of Ryan Thompson (1-1), stole second and third, and then raced home on Thompson’s next pitch, a slider that was outside and in the dirt and got away from catcher Francisco Meja for a wild pitch.

Volpe has been successful in all 13 of his attempts to steal, which is one more than Joe DiMaggio was able to do from the beginning of his career until he was caught at home by Boston on September 25, 1938, while trying to steal with Lou Gehrig.

Torres walked, and Judge hit a fastball 439 feet into the second deck in left field, giving him his eighth home run of the season and a 7-6 lead.

When Orlando Cabrera came in as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, he hit a two-run single against Javy Guerra on a ground ball that just got past Walls sliding at second and went into right field. This made the score 9-6.

After Ron Marinaccio got two runners on base, Arozarena hit a broken-bat, two-run single off Clay Holmes in the seventh inning.

In the eighth, Daz left a runner on second when he took a called third strike from Holmes after nine pitches. In the ninth, Wandy Peralta got his second save of the season despite a walk with two outs. Before the end of the game, Brandon Lowe swung and missed at six 1-2 pitches.

After falling to Tampa Bay 8-7 in 10 innings last Sunday, New York came back from being down by six runs to win for the first time since beating Minnesota 14-12 after being down 8-2 on July 23, 2019. The Yankees (23-19) are only eight games behind the Rays, who are in first place in the big league.

Cortes gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He has given up 15 runs in his last three starts, which has caused his ERA to go up to 5.53. He wore green shoes with the name and picture of Tam Major, a standardbred horse that Cortes owns and that was in the 10th race at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

McClanahan was 7-0 and had a 1.76 ERA in his first eight games. He had never given up more than two runs. In four plus innings, he let in four runs, four hits, and four walks.

UP NEXT

New York’s RHP Clarke Schmidt (1-3) and the Rays’ RHP Zack Eflin (4-1) will start on Sunday.

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