NEW YORK (AP) — Adeiny Hechavarria hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning off Sonny Gray and the Tampa Bay Rays, playing as the home team in a series relocated to Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma, beat the New York Yankees 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay has split the first two games of the set held at the home of the New York Mets.
The Rays will fly back to Florida immediately after Wednesday afternoon’s game for firsthand looks at the storm damage. No word yet from MLB if Boston and Tampa Bay will play at Tropicana Field on Friday night as scheduled — the Rays expect to host the three-game set, but it could be reconfigured to give them an extra day off to handle personal matters.
Tommy Hunter (3-5) pitched one inning to give Tampa Bay, on the fringe of the AL wild-card race, its second win in six games. Alex Colome closed for his 44th save in 49 chances.
Gray (9-10) again pitched well but wound up with a loss. The Yankees, who hold the top AL wild-card spot, have dropped just three of their last 10.
Hechavarria finished a home run short of the cycle in a 5-1 loss Monday night.
Matt Holliday — a rare designated hitter in a game held at a National League park — put the Yankees ahead in the first with an RBI double off Blake Snell.
Kevin Kiermaier quickly made it 1-all, homering on Gray’s first pitch of the night.
The Rays officially were the home team — they occupied the Mets’ spacious clubhouse, wore white uniforms and batted last, and the public-address announcer greeted them with “Please welcome the Tampa Bay Rays.”
But from the moment the displaced Rays took the field to a smattering of boos, it was decidedly a Bronx Bombers crowd. The chants of “Let’s go, Yankees” started as leadoff man Brett Gardner stepped in, and echoed for most of the evening.
The crowd of 21,024 was about 6,000 more than saw the series opener Monday night. All tickets were $25, with the upper seating levels around the bases closed off. Foul balls that flew into empty sections were retrieved, eventually, by security guards.
There was a message for hurricane relief shown on the videoboard. The Mets’ game at Wrigley Field, meanwhile, was posted on the out-of-town scoreboard.
WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR
MLB released the 2018 schedule, with every team opening on March 29. The Rays start at home for the ninth straight year, this time against Boston, while the Yankees begin at Toronto. Also, Tampa Bay is scheduled to play at Citi Field vs. the Mets for the first time since 2009.
Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. returned to the lineup for the first time since Friday, when he nicked his left knee running into a wall at Boston.
Yankees: 1B Greg Bird missed another start because of back spasms that he started to feel Sunday. He had an MRI. … Clint Frazier started in left field. He didn’t play Monday after coming off the disabled list. He’d been out since Aug. 9 with a strained left oblique strain. … SS Didi Gregorius didn’t start. Manager Joe Girardi wanted to find him a day to rest, and did it vs. the Rays’ lefty starter. Gregorius later pinch-hit.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (9-9, 4.00) goes into Wednesday’s game at 6-6 with a 2.82 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees, throwing at least six innings every time. Last Friday at Boston, he was tagged for eight runs in three-plus innings.
Yankees: LHP Jaime Garcia is 0-2 in five starts since being traded from Minnesota to the Yankees. He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 20. Garcia is 5-9 with a 4.43 ERA overall with Atlanta, the Twins and the Yanks.
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