July 18, 2019 / 11:43 PM / a month ago

Gregorius helps Yanks complete DH sweep of Rays

EditorsNote: Updated with Strasburg’s 12th win

Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees injured starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws in the outfield before the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Didi Gregorius highlighted a four-run sixth inning with a two-run single, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 to complete a doubleheader sweep Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees won opener 6-2 following an 86-minute delay due to the threat of rain. Gio Urshela drove in three runs, and manager Aaron Boone was tossed for a profane rant on rookie plate umpire Brennan Miller in the second inning.

New York improved to 12-5 in the season series against the Rays. The Yankees took three of four in their final home series with Tampa Bay to extend their lead in the American League East to eight games over the second-place Rays.

The Yankees broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning before Gregorius saw a pitch from Charlie Morton (11-3).

Gregorius came up with the bases loaded and one out, and Morton balked in the tiebreaking run when his front leg moved as it appeared catcher Mike Zunino was trying to call time.

Two pitches later, Gregorius slapped a single through the drawn-in infield past the diving attempt of shortstop Willy Adames and into center field, scoring Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion.

It was the second big hit of the series for Gregorius, who hit a grand slam to cap New York’s six-run eighth inning on Tuesday.

The Yankees took a 5-1 lead later in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by Mike Tauchman off Andrew Kittredge.

Before the four-run inning, New York’s Luke Voit tied the game 1-1 in the fifth with his first homer since June 14.

Nate Lowe had an RBI double in the third for the Rays, who were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. Lowe had three hits and reached base four times.

The Yankees used Chad Green as an opener, and he threw 31 pitches in the first inning. Green worked out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam by retiring Yandy Diaz, Kevin Kiermaier and Adames.

New York’s Nestor Cortes Jr. allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings, and Luis Cessa (1-1) followed with a 3 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first win since July 9, 2018. Adam Ottavino finished up by getting the final four outs.

Morton was unable to join Yankees right-hander Domingo German, Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg and Texas right-hander Lance Lynn as the majors’ fourth 12-game winner. He allowed five runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Morton fanned four and walked four.

—Field Level Media

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