Montas delivers, Judge hits 53rd homer as Yankees escape Tampa with win

FLORIDA’S ST. PETERSBURG — The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep. Aaron Judge hit the game’s first home run, his major league-leading 53rd, to give his team a 1-0 lead.

In terms of home runs, Judge surpassed his previous record of 52 from his rookie season in 2017. In addition, he singled, doubled, and scored both runs for New York.

The judge remarked, “We were focused on today. We didn’t really pay attention to the previous two days, and I believe it helped us go out and win this one today.

The AL East-leading Yankees extended their advantage over Tampa Bay to five games thanks to five innings of scoreless relief from Frankie Montas (5-11), who gave up just one hit. On July 10, the Rays were down by 15 1/2 games.

After the significant victory, Yankees manager Aaron Boone congratulated players outside the clubhouse entrance. Boone watched the second half of the game after getting ejected.

Boone stated, “It’s way more nerve-wracking up here. “I could feel my pacemaker going into overdrive.”

Tampa Bay attempted a comeback in the ninth inning against Clay Holmes, the fourth Yankees reliever, down 2-0. David Peralta doubled to start the game off and came around to score on pinch-hitter Francisco Mejia’s single with one out.

With two outs, Jonathan Aranda doubled before Holmes recorded his 18th save by getting Yandy Daz to fly out looking at a 3-2 fastball. When plate umpire Vic Carapazza ruled a strike three, Daz had already set down his bat and was making his way to first base. Dáz hit the ground hard with his batting helmet.

Holmes’ final pitch was his fastest ever, reaching 101.7 mph. The only other triple-digit attempt of his career came earlier in the season, also against Dáz.

Kevin Cash, the manager of the Rays, indicated that Yandy thought the ball was down. “Had it fallen? An offense? I’m not certain. Without a doubt, it is a close pitch.”

In the fifth inning, when Tampa Bay’s Taylor Walls reached on catcher’s interference, Boone was ejected by Carapazza for arguing.

When Josh Donaldson objected to Shawn Armstrong’s up-and-in 3-0 pitch to start the second inning for the Rays, the benches emptied momentarily. Although Donaldson yelled at the right-hander, nothing major happened.

It draws your attention, according to Boone. “He’s just saying, “Get it down,” see? Just a spur-of-the-moment competition, that.”

Armstrong (2-2) threw the first pitch of the game, and Judge hit on it by driving a ball into the left-field bleachers. The slugger flew out to the fringe of the warning track in center with two outs to conclude the eighth inning of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Rays.

Following a groundout by DJ LeMahieu, Judge doubled to start the seventh, moved up to third on Oswaldo Cabrera’s sacrifice fly, and scored to make it 2-0.

Cash proclaimed, “Special player, he’s having an MVP season.” He’s incredibly challenging to pitch to.

After 93 pitches, Montas (5-11), who had seven strikeouts but no walks, was removed from the game. The right-hander had two appearances against the Rays earlier this season while with the Athletics, and he has held them to one earned run over 18 1/3 innings despite going 0-2 with a 7.01 ERA in his first five starts since being acquired from Oakland.

In the seventh inning, Tampa Bay had two outs, and the bases loaded when Jonathan Loaisiga struck out Daz on a grounder off the bat.

In the fifth inning, with one out and runners on first and second, LeMahieu hit a foul ball that catcher Christian Bethancourt caught at the screen. Boone claimed that the ball had looked at the net, but a video check upheld the ruling.

With the bases loaded later in the fifth, struggling Giancarlo Stanton flew out to deep right to end the inning. Since recovering from an Achilles injury, he has had four hits in 35 at-bats and went 0 for 5.


At 25,025, the reported crowd was sold out. The Rays’ home season average of 14,023 was significantly more than the series average of 21,555.


Yankees: According to Boone, OF Andrew Benintendi will need surgery to correct a broken hook of the right hamate bone after being hurt on a swing on Friday. When asked if the injury would finish his season, Boone indicated he was unsure. Anthony Rizzo, the first baseman, is expected to resume baseball activities on Monday, according to Boone.

Rays: LHP Shane McClanahan threw at 75 feet despite having a left shoulder impingement. Brandon Lowe is practicing at-bat despite having an injured right elbow.

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