Bader drives in 2 in 3-run 8th, Yankees beat Rays 3-2
ST. PETERSBURG. Fla. (AP) — Harrison Bader flared a two-run single during a three-run eighth inning, and the New York Yankees rallied from a two-run deficit to beat the major league-leading Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Saturday.
Tampa Bay lost for the first time this year in a game in which the Rays scored first. The Rays dropped to 18-3 at Tropicana Field.
A day after hitting a three-run homer, Bader singled as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and put the Yankees ahead 3-2 on his 179-foot, 64.2 mph hit off Kevin Kelly (3-1).
Anthony Rizzo singled against Jalen Beeks, Gleyber Torres singled against Kelly and DJ LeMahieu, after falling behind 0-2 in the count, sliced a slider down the right-field line for an opposite-field RBI double.
Willie Calhoun popped out and Bader, who made his season debut Tuesday after recovering from an oblique injury, looped a hit into short right field.
Ron Marninaccio (1-1) went 1 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win before Ian Hamilton worked around Luke Raley's two-out double in the ninth for his first major league save, retiring Isaac Paredes on a game-ending flyout.
New York (18-16) moved back within nine games of the Rays (27-7) in the AL East.
The Yankees are without sluggers Aaron Judge (strained right hip), Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring strain) and Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring).
The announced crowd was season-high 27,078 at Tropicana Field as the Rays opened up the normally closed upper deck for the weekend series.
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead on Manuel Margot's two-run double off Domingo Germán in the first, a 107.9 mph shot that went between the legs of LeMahieu at third base.
Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen scattered two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Beeks worked out of a second and third one-out jam in the seventh by striking out Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka. Hicks, booed by Yankees fans in attendance, went 0 for 5, He is batting .135 (7 for 52) with no extra-base hits, one RBI and 15 strikeouts.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa started in center field for the Yankees but made his first professional appearance in right after Bader hit for Jake Bauers, IKF has played every position except first base. His double in the eighth was first extra-base hit this season.
Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone expects Judge to return from a strained right hip on Tuesday.
Rays: LF Randy Arozarena was the DH, one day after his knee made contact with Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres on a slide into second. ... 2B Brandon Lowe started after missing two games with back soreness. He was limited to 65 games last season due to back issues.
Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (5-0) will start Sunday's series finale. He went 1-1 with a 1.07 ERA in four outings against Tampa Bay last season.
Rays: LHP Josh Fleming (0-0) will start or follow an opener. He had a successful bullpen session Friday after taking an 113.1 mph infield single off his left foot Tuesday.
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Mark Didtler, The Associated Press