The Yankees managed to score in only the second inning, but the Bombers’ early three-run burst was just enough to beat the Rays, 3-2, Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.
Jaime Garcia was unable to pick up the win, but held the Rays in check before allowing the bullpen to do the rest. Garcia, who has yet to win a game since the Yankees acquired him in a trade with the Twins on July 30, looked sharp in 4.2 innings pitched, giving up just one run – a solo shot to Kevin Kiermaier in the third – and striking out four before being pulled.
The Yankees were able to provide Garcia with an early cushion thanks to a three-run second inning in which they pounded struggling Rays starter Chris Archer.
Starlin Castro opened things with a leadoff single to center before advancing to third on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single to right. Todd Frazier then followed with a hard liner that got past a diving Adeiny Hechavarria to score Castro. After a strikeout from Clint Frazier and a walk from Austine Romine, Brett Gardner hit a single to the left side to score Todd Frazier and Romine before Chase Headley hit into a double-play to end the scoring.
Archer struggled with his command from the start, needing 92 pitches (only 54 for strikes) to get through four innings and throwing two wild pitches.
Aroldis Chapman gave Yankee fans a scare once again Wednesday, giving up an inherited run and needing 16 pitches to record one out after replacing Dellin Betances in the eighth. Chapman, however, threw a scoreless ninth to record a four-out save, his 18th save of the season.
PLAY OF THE GAME
In the top of the sixth, Clint Frazier hit a fly ball to deep center field just shy of the wall, but Kevin Kiermaier was able to track it down and leap up to make an impressive grab, robbing Frazier of a potential extra-base hit.
Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury and Todd Frazier hit consecutive singles to start the second inning to spark the Yankees’ early rally.
STAR OF THE GAME
Brett Gardner went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base.
STAT OF THE DAY
22. Ellsbury is now 22-for-43 (.512) in his career against Archer. He went 1-for-1 with a walk against him on Wednesday.
While he only pitched 4.2 innings, Garcia was solid for the Yankees, holding the Rays to just one run and striking out four.
Archer looked nothing like his All-Star self, giving up six hits and three runs in four innings. He also threw two wild pitches.
Thursday vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (11-11, 4.82 ERA) vs. LHP Wade Miley (8-12, 4.96 ERA)