Gardner, Yankees down Rays
NEWYORK — This latest hit by Brett Gardner produced another walkoff win for the New York Yankees — without any mishaps, either.
Gardner hit an RBI single with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, sending the AL East leaders over the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 for their sixth straight win.
“Makes me feel good,” Gardner said. “It's an exciting win for us — a very important game against a tough opponent.”
Gardner won the series opener against the Rays on Thursday night with an 11thinning home run. That sparked a wild celebration at home plate, and Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge was accidentally hit by Gardner's helmet and lost half of his front left tooth.
A day after Judge went to the dentist for a fix, he steered clear this time, instead pouring Gatorade on Gardner and nimbly avoiding the happy group.
Chase Headley and Gary Sanchez hit long home runs for New York. The contending Rays lost their sixth straight game at Yankee Stadium.
“That team is on fire right now,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
With the game 4-all, Brad Boxberger (2-3) walked Headley to lead off the ninth, and pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury promptly stole second.
Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch and Ronald Torreyes tried to put down a sacrifice bunt, but instead reached first to load the bases when infielders Adeiny Hechavarria and Tim Beckham miscommunicated on a ground ball for the second time in the series.
Cash brought in newly acquired left-hander Dan Jennings to face the lefty-hitting Gardner. On an 0-1 pitch, Gardner grounded a ball past the Tampa Bay infield to score the winning run.