Judge homers twice, Rays unable to hold 6-0 lead
New York, NY - Aaron Judge hit a pair of two-run homers, Anthony Volpe sparked the Yankees by breaking Joe DiMaggio’s team record for consecutive stolen bases at the start of a career and New York overcame a six-run deficit for a 9-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Rays ace Shane McClanahan failed to hold a 6-0, fifth-inning lead, six days after Yankees ace Gerrit Cole squandered a 6-0, fifth-inning advantage in an 8-7, 10-inning loss at Tampa Bay.
In a matchup of All-Star starters, Yandy Díaz hit his first career grand slam in a five-run fifth against Nestor Cortes, the start of a stretch in which 22 of 37 batters reached in a 2 1/2-inning span.
Judge, wearing pink spikes for Mother’s Day weekend, found his stroke following an injured list stint caused by a sore hip. His homers were his first since April 19 and gave him his 29th career multihomer game.
Kyle Higashioka and Judge chased McClanahan with two-run homers in the bottom of the fifth, the first of consecutive innings in which the Yankees batted around.
Volpe reached on a bunt single to the left side off Ryan Thompson (1-1) starting the sixth, stole second and third, then sped home on the next pitch when Thompson’s slider was way outside and eluded catcher Francisco Mejía. Volpe is 13 for 13 in steal attempts, one more than DiMaggio from the start of his career until he was caught at home by Boston on Sept. 25, 1939, as part of a double-steal attempt with Lou Gehrig.
Gleyber Torres walked and Judge drove a slider 439 feet into the left-field second deck for his eighth homer this season and a 7-6 lead.
Orlando Cabrera, who entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth, added a two-run single against Javy Guerra on a grounder to right that just eluded diving second baseman Taylor Walls.
Randy Arozarena hit a broken-bat, two-run single in the seventh against Clay Holmes after two batters reached off Ron Marinaccio.
Díaz stranded a runner at second in the eighth when he took a called third strike from Holmes in a nine-pitch at-bat, and Wandy Peralta worked around a two-out walk in the ninth, for his second save this season — both in a 19-hour span. Brandon Lowe fouled off six 1-2 pitches before hitting a game-ending flyout.
Jimmy Cordero (3-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. New York is 3-3 against the major league-leading Rays and trails by eight games in the AL East.
McClanahan entered 7-0 with a 1.76 ERA and had not allowed more than two runs in his first eight starts. He allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in four-plus innings.
Cortes gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts as his ERA ballooned to 5.53. He wore green cleats with the name and picture of Tam Major, a horse Cortes owns.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodón (strained left forearm) was awaiting a go-ahead to start throwing following an injection of painkiller to his back Tuesday. ... 3B Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) could resume a minor league rehabilitation assignment next week.
RHP Clarke Schmidt (1-3) starts Sunday for New York and RHP Zack Eflin (4-1) for the Rays.