Game 93. Yanks get six in 8th to defeat Rays, 8-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Rays were about to cut the Yanks’ lead in the AL East down to four games. They were four outs away from doing so.

But a 2-run HR by Aaron Judge and a grand slam by Didi Gregorius turned a possible 3-2 Yankees’ loss into an 8-3 Yankees’ win and enabled the Yankees (60-33) to stretch their lead over Tampa Bay to six games. The Yankees are 10 up on Boston.

The Rays took an early lead when CC Sabathia gave up a HR to Austin Meadows in the top of the second inning.

The Yanks came right back in the bottom of the second when Edwin Encarnacion hit a 435 ft. HR (28) to tie the game. Encarnacion’s 28th HR of the season (Seattle and NY) was #408 of his career, passing Duke Snider on the all-time list, and putting him one behind Mark Teixeira.

In the fourth, CC gave up a HR to Yandy Diaz to make it 3-1 Rays. He almost gave up back-to-back HR, but Brett Gardner robbed Avisail Garcia of a HR.

In the bottom of the fifth, Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres both made bad base-running decisions on the same play, and Tampa Bay got a DP to end that half-inning.

Diaz got an RBI double in the top of the sixth to put the Rays up 3-1.

D.J. LeMahieu homered in the bottom of the sixth (13) to cut the Rays’ lead to 3-2.

In the top of the seventh, Nestor Cortes, Jr. came in for CC but loaded the bases with one out, David Hale relieved Cortes, and got a DP to get out of the inning and keep the game within reach for the Yankees.

In the bottom of the eighth, Gleyber Torres walked. Two outs later, Aaron Judge hit a 2-run HR (10) to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead, but then they got insurance runs when Luke Voit singled, Gary Sanchez doubled, Encarnacion was intentionally walked, and Didi Gregorius hit his fifth HR of the season, this one a grand slam, to put the Yankees up 8-3.

Hale got into a jam in the top of the ninth, but Zack Britton finished off the Rays.

Yankees’ radio announcer John Sterling missed the game. He’s missed a couple lately as he (81 years old) is battling a health issue.

LeMahieu solo HR (13)  .331
Judge 2 hits, 2 RBI, GW 2-run HR (10)  .304
Encarnacion 2 hits, solo HR (28)
Gregorius 4 RBI; Grand Slam HR (5)

Sabathia 6 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 2 HR.  4.06
Cortes, Jr. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K.  4.50
Hale (W, 3-0, 2.45) 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 3 K.  2.45
Britton 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  2.31

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