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Long Ball Does In Rays For Second Straight Loss

Masahiro Tanaka and David Robertson combined to throw a two-hitter, while New York hit three home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays dropped their second straight game to the New York Yankees 6-1 Friday in the Bronx.

Brett Gardner started Friday's game the same way he finished Thursday contest, with a solo homer to right field, this time off spot starter Austin Pruitt, giving New York an early lead.

Pruitt would retire the next 11 straight hitters, but Aaron Judge would extend the deficit to 2-0 in the fourth by blasting his 33rd homer of the year.

The right-hander started to run out of gas in the fifth, walking Todd Frazier with one out, then issuing another free pass to Gardner with two away, and Clint Frazier made Pruitt pay with his fourth homer of the year that busted the game open to 5-0.

Meanwhile Tanaka (8-9) retired the first 17 hitters he faced, not allowing a baserunner until Adeiny Hechaverria singled with two out in the sixth.  The Yankees starter allowed just one other hit, Lucas Duda's first home run as a member of the rays in the seventh, while striking out a career-high 14 in eight innings.

Didi Gregorius capped the scoring in the bottom of the eighth with a base hit that scored Gardner, though Gary Sanchez was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

Robertson worked a perfect ninth inning to finish the game, dropping Tampa Bay back to two games over .500 at 53-51.

Tampa Bay will need a win Saturday afternoon if they want to keep the possibility of splitting the four-game series.  Blake Snell (0-6, 4.86 ERA) will get the start, taking on Caleb Smith (0-1, 8.10 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 Saturday, with coverage on WDAE starting at noon with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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