ST. PETERSBURG. Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-out homer off Chad Green in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays past the New York Yankees 4-3 on Saturday.
Aaron Hicks had tied it at 3 in the top of the ninth for the Yankees, homering on a 2-2, two-out pitch from Colin Poche (2-1).
It was one of the few clutch hits the Yankees had on the day. Entering the game with the league’s best average with runners in scoring position, New York’s powerful lineup went a meager 1-for-12 in those opportunities.
New York ended up leaving 10 men on base Saturday afternoon.
D’Arnaud’s winning homer against Green (2-3) into the right-field seats got the Rays back within 7 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Yankees, who had won the first two games of a four-game series in extra innings. Tampa Bay is 3-9 against New York this season.
It was just New York’s third loss in its last 19 games.
Nate Lowe hit a go-ahead two-run homer off CC Sabathia in the seventh that gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead. He hit his first big league homer Friday night off Masahiro Tanaka.
Sabathia went a season-high seven innings, giving up three runs and seven hits.
The Yankees went up 2-1 in the seventh on Hicks’ RBI single off Jose Alvarado, the team’s lone hit with runners in scoring position on the day.
Blake Snell, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner, kept the game tied at 1 by getting a shallow fly to right from Aaron Judge and Hicks’ comebacker with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Judge, who fanned in his other two at-bats against Snell, is 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts overall against the left-hander. Judge, Gary Sanchez, and several other Yankee hitters spent most of the day swinging through high fastballs out of the zone – resulting in 11 strikeouts in one of New York’s clutch performances of the year.
Snell allowed one run and five hits over five innings. He went 2-3 with a 9.64 ERA in six starts last month.
New York optioned INF Mike Ford to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday night’s game. LHP Daniel Camarena was signed to a major League contract before the game Saturday and selected to the Yankees’ 25-man roster from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka was added to the AL All-Star team as an injury replacement for Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. “It will be a great thing if I can actually pitch in the game,” Tanaka said through a translator. “When you look at your baseball career, it would be something that I can be proud of.”
1B Luke Voit (abdominal strain) remains on target to be back right after the All-Star break.
Rays All-Star RHP Charlie Morton (9-2) and Yankees LHP James Paxton (5-3) are Sunday’s starters.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)