The New York Yankees (80-54) defeated the Tampa Bay Rays (74-58) 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. The Yankees salvaged the series finale to avoid being swept, and leave St. Petersburg with their lead in the AL East at only five games.
Aaron Judge homered to lead off the game, his second home run in as many at bats (he also homered in the ninth inning on Saturday night) and now has 53 home runs to lead Major League Baseball. The Yankees got a second run in the seventh inning when Oswaldo Cabrera drove Judge in on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Things got testy in the second inning after Rays opener Shawn Amrstrong nearly hit Josh Donaldson with a pitch to lead off the frame. The benches cleared, but the situation calmed down without any fighting. This comes two days after Donaldson was seeing jawing with Rays pitcher Jeffrey Springs and others.
The Rays threatened in the ninth inning, pulling within 2-1 thanks to Francisco Mejia's RBI single. The Rays had the tying run at third base and the winning run at second base, but Yandy Diaz was called out on strikes to end the ballgame.
Shawn Armstrong (2-2, 4.62) allowed one earned run on one hit in three innings as the opener. Ryan Yarbrough followed with two and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball for Tampa Bay. Frankie Montas (5-11, 3.79) kept Rays hitters guessing in his five innings of work, allowing one hit and striking out seven while not allowing a run.
The Rays now begin a three game series with the Red Sox on Monday afternoon. First pitch on Labor Day between the Rays and Red Sox is scheduled for 4:10 PM - Neil Solondz begins pregame coverage at 3:30 PM on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620.
PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES