Yankees shoot for a least a split of series against Rays

MLB

The New York Yankees aren’t usually in the business of making a big deal about wins on June 1. But they weren’t apologizing Tuesday night for relishing a much-needed victory.

The Yankees will look to clinch at least a split of a four-game series Wednesday night, when they are scheduled to host the Tampa Bay Rays in the third game of the set.

Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 4.22 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Yankees against the Rays’ Shane McClanahan (2-0, 3.29) in a battle of left-handers.

The Yankees snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday night, when Clint Frazier hit the walk-off two-run homer in the 11th inning to lift New York to a 5-3 victory.

Frazier’s homer was cathartic for the Yankees, who left the winning run at second in the ninth and at third in the 10th. His walk-off shot was just the Yankees’ fourth hit in their last 28 at-bats with runners in scoring position — a stretch that included a weekend sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, who entered Tuesday with the third-worst record in the American League.

The five runs for the Yankees were one fewer than they scored in the previous four games combined. New York has scored more than four runs just eight times in 24 games dating back to May 6.

“Felt good — it’s a feeling that I’m sure that I won’t forget just because of what we’ve been going through as a team (and) individually,” said Frazier, who lifted his average to .185. “We needed that win. Obviously we’ve got to build off of it and show up (Wednesday) and try to get another ‘W’ that’s a little bit easier than that one.”

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Rays, who lost for just the second time in 18 games. The defeat cost Tampa Bay a chance to become the first team to go 17-1 over an 18-game span since the Yankees did so from April 21 through May 9, 2018.

On Tuesday, the Rays didn’t get a hit off six Yankees relievers over the final six innings, although they drew six walks and stranded five runners in scoring position.

“We did a good job of getting guys on base and getting our walks,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “But the big hit just really eluded us for whatever reason.”

Montgomery didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start last Thursday, when he allowed three runs over 4 2/3 innings as the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3, in the second game of a doubleheader. McClanahan earned his second career win last Thursday after giving up three hits over five scoreless innings as the Rays beat the Kansas City Royals, 7-2.

Montgomery is 2-3 with a 4.97 ERA in nine career starts against the Rays. McClanahan, who is making his seventh big league start, has never opposed the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

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