6 pitchers combine on 5-hitter, Rays beat Yankees 2-1

Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Duffy, right, celebrates with Jake Bauers (9) after scoring on a sacrifice fly by C.J. Cron off New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 22, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The high-powered New York Yankees were stymied by Tampa Bay’s relievers.

Six Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a five-hitter, and the Rays beat the New York Yankees 2-1 Friday night.

Utilizing a bullpen day, the Rays improved to 14-31 against teams with a .500 or better record with the victory over the team with the majors’ best record. New York is 40-5 when allowing four or fewer runs.

”You just don’t limit that team to one run very often,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”So as far as piecing it together and guys coming in and doing their jobs, that’s probably as good as you can make it.”

Winner Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) entered in the second and allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his fifth save in nine chances.

”Getting those tough wins against a really tough opponent was great,” Yarbrough said.

The Rays, 12-19 in one-run games, are 3-5 during a stretch of 16 games with the Yankees, Washington and Houston.

Willy Adames put the Rays ahead 1-0 with a run-scoring single off CC Sabathia (4-3) in the fourth. Sabathia allowed two runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Tampa Bay has just two established starters in its rotation with injuries to Chris Archer and Jake Faria.

”Whatever kind of combination they’ve got going on over there, it worked tonight,” Sabathia said.

Tampa Bay went up 2-0 in the fifth on C.J. Cron’s sacrifice fly, a drive with two on that Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton snared with a leaping catch at the wall.

”That was a really special play,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

The Rays wasted a chance to extend the lead in the sixth when Johnny Field struck out on a failed third-strike bunt attempt with two on and Matt Duffy hit a two-out grounder with the bases loaded to complete a 12-pitch at-bat against Adam Warren.

”That was on me, poor communication on my part.,” Cash of the Field strikeout. ”That’s not how we drew it up. I didn’t take it off. I made the mistake.”

Aaron Judge made it 2-1 on a seventh-inning RBI single off Chaz Roe. Jose Alvarado prevented further damage by getting a two-out grounder from Didi Gregorius with runners on second and third.

New York left fielder Brett Gardner went 2 for 5 after missing the previous five games due to right knee soreness.

After taking three balls, Gardner hit into a game-ending double on a 3-2 pitch from Romo.

The announced crowd was 27,252, more than double Tampa Bay’s second-lowest average attendance in the majors of 13,414.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (strained left and right hamstrings) will have his first bullpen session Sunday and could start a simulated game late next week.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) had a 20-pitch bullpen session. The opening-day starter will likely be out until after the All-Star break. ”(Saturday) will be big to see where my level of soreness is,” Archer said. ”The last week my body has really come a long ways. I don’t wake up with any soreness.”

MINORS’ MATTERS

Yankees: RHP Clarke Schmidt, taken 16th overall in the 2017 draft, allowed two runs and three hits over one inning in his first Gulf Coast League game. He missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Rays: Two-way prospect Brendan McKay is on Class-A Charlotte’s disabled list with an oblique injury.

MOVING DAY

Tampa Bay reinstated INF Daniel Robertson (left hamstring strain) from the 10-day DL and optioned RHP Austin Pruitt and outrighted OF Rob Refsnyder to Triple-A Durham.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Sonny Gray (5-4) and Rays RHP Wilmer Font (0-3) are Saturday’s scheduled starters.

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