Infield Mixup, Gardner Homer Lead Yankees To Victory Over Rays In 11

NEW YORK (AP) — Shortstop Adeiney Hechavarria and second baseman Tim Beckham watched Gary Sanchez’s playable grounder bounce between them on the left side of the infield for a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning, Brett Gardner homered leading off the 11th, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 Thursday night for their fourth straight win.

Gardner tripled to the left-center wall off Alex Colome leading off the ninth, but the closer appeared to pitch out of trouble. With the infield in, Clint Frazier hit a soft grounder to third and AL home run leader Aaron Judge flied to short right.

With Beckham shifted to the third-base side of second, Sanchez hit a two-hopper between Hechavarria and Beckham, but the two infielders looked at each other as the ball bounced into the outfield and Gardner came home. Didi Gregorius followed with an inning-ending grounder.

Gardner then homered, his career-high 18th, on a 1-1 pitch in the 11th from rookie Andrew Kittredge (0-1), who lost in his first big league decision. The Yankees are on their longest winning streak since a six-game spurt from June 7-12.

During the celebration, Judge was hit in the mouth and broke a tooth, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Aroldis Chapman (3-1) needed just 19 pitches to strike out four over two innings — including three in a row in the 11th — his longest outing since last year’s World Series.

Girardi was ejected in the seventh inning by plate umpire Stu Scheurwater for arguing balls and strikes. Girardi was angered by a 3-0 called strike to Gardner, who grounded out, and Girardi continued to bark from the dugout for two batters before coming out for an animated argument.

New York rookie Tyler Wade stranded the bases loaded when he struck out in the sixth, hit into an inning-ending double play with two on in the eighth and struck out to leave the potential winning run on second in the 10th.

New York built a 3-0 lead against Chris Archer when Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI double in the second and scored on Todd Frazier’s single, and Sanchez homered in the third.

Evan Longoria started Tampa Bay’s comeback in the fourth with a home run that hit the top of the right-field wall and bounced over. Longoria is hitting .421 (32 for 76) against CC Sabathia with eight homers and 17 RBIs, and his 35 home runs off the Yankees since 2008 are the most by any player.

Hechavarria and Peter Bourjos hit consecutive one-out doubles in the three-run fourth, and Sabathia was visibly dismayed when Girardi walked to the mound to bring in Chad Green.

While left-handed hitters were 4 for 44 against Green coming in, pinch-hitter Brad Miller hooked a two-run double to right field. Corey Dickerson homered with in the sixth for a 5-3 lead, a drive that glanced off the hand of a fan in the second deck in right in the sixth.

Sabathia gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. Archer, winless in four starts, allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings with 10 strikeouts. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out Todd Frazier and Webb.

MILESTONE?

Sabathia fanned Tim Beckham in the fourth inning for his 2,800th strikeout. That passed Cy Young for sole possession of 20th on the career list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s statistician. Other sources have Young’s total at 2,803.

RAYS REINFORCEMENTS

Tampa Bay sent 1B Casey Gillaspie to the White Sox and RHP Drew Smith to the Mets. Gillaspie was the 20th overall draft pick in 2014 and Smith was a third-round selection two years ago.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (broken right hip) made his first rehab appearance with Class A Charlotte on Thursday night and went 0 for 2 against Dudenin. He can be activated from the DL on Aug. 9. … 2B Daniel Robertson also started a rehab assignment with Charlotte, playing four innings and going 1 for 2.

Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks (right oblique strain) and 1B Tyler Austin (right hamstring strain) likely will start minor league rehab assignments Monday.

UP NEXT

RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-9, 5.37) is slated to start Friday on five days’ rest for New York. Tampa Bay is recalling RHP Austin Pruitt (5-1, 6.25) from Triple-A Durham to take the turn of RHP Jake Odorizzi, on the DL with a lower back strain.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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