Montgomery goes 6 strong innings, Yankees beat Rays 3-1

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (AP) — Jordan Montgomery pitched six strong innings, Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez homered, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

About two hours before the start, it was announced that Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin is away from the team after a positive COVID-19 test.

The Yankees beat Tampa Bay for just the second time in seven games this season. The AL champion Rays had won 18 of the last 23 meetings, including a five-game victory in last year’s Division Series.

New York slugger Luke Voit went 0 for 3 in his first game this season. The major league home run leader last year with 22, he was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after having knee surgery on March 29.

Voit was hit by a pitch around the right wrist in the fourth inning and had a flyout to the right-field wall in the seventh.

Montgomery (2-1) gave up one run, two hits, walked one and tied a career high with nine strikeouts. After Jonathan Loaisiga worked two innings, Aroldis Chapman got three outs to get his eighth save and complete a three-hitter.

Chapman had an eventful ninth, including a visit by a trainer. Austin Meadows reached on shortstop Gleyber Torres’ error, but Sánchez later threw out the Rays DH attempting to advance to second. The lefty also walked one and struck out one.

Judge started in right field after being rested Sunday and hit a first-pitch, first-inning solo homer off Luis Patiño (1-1). Judge, who entered with two hits in his previous 24 at-bats, has been dealing with what manager Aaron Boone is calling “lower leg stuff.”

Sánchez made it 3-1 with his shot in the seventh off Josh Fleming. It was his second homer in three games after a career-high tying 18-game homerless streak.

Mike Zunino connected on a 472-foot solo drive in the third for the Rays. It was the fourth longest homer in MLB this season, behind Yermin Mercedes (485 feet), Ronald Acuña Jr. (481 feet) and Marcell Ozuna (479 feet).

Patiño allowed two runs and three hits in four innings.

MOVING DAY

The Rays designated INF-OF Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment. The former Japanese star hit just .167 with five RBIs this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks was a late scratch with a bruised right shin. He fouled a pitch off it in the eighth inning Sunday against Washington. … 3B Gio Urshela (sore left knee) returned to the lineup and singled in four at-bats.

Rays: GM Erik Neander said CF Kevin Kiermaier, who sprained his left wrist sliding into second base Saturday, has no broken bones or ligament damage. … 1B Ji-Man Choi (arthroscopic right knee ) could be back in the next couple days.

UP NEXT

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (4-1, 1.61 ERA) will start Wednesday night’s game. The Rays have not announced their starter. Cole is 3-0 in four postseason starts against Tampa Bay but is 0-4 over eight regular-season appearances.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mark Didtler, The Associated Press

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