Walls tiebreaking grand slam lifts Rays over Yanks 8-7 for 4-game split
NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Walls hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the fifth inning, Jose Siri caught Aaron Judge's fly in front of the center-field wall for the final out and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 8-7 on Sunday for a four-game series split.
Walls fell a double shy of the cycle after going 3 for 15 in his first five games against New York. Major league-leading Tampa Bay is 4-3 against the Yankees, with six of the games decided by one run. The teams don't meet again until July 31.
Down 3-0, the Yankees went ahead in the third on two-run homers by Oswaldo Cabrera and Anthony Rizzo off Zach Elfin.
Randy Arozarena hit a tying sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in a five-run inning off Clarke Schmidt (1-4), with centerfielder Harrison Bader running about 90 feet for a sprawling, backhand catch in front of the 399-foot sign that saved two runs.
Josh Lowe walked and Albert Abreu relieved. He threw four straight changeups to Walls, who hit the last into the first row of the right-center field seats near the Yankee bullpen for an 8-4 lead. Tampa Bay has four grand slams this season after hitting on for the second straight day.
Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake was ejected by plate umpire Mike Muchlinski for arguing from the dugout the home run.
Aaron Judge hit an RBI single in the seventh and rookie Anthony Volpe had a two-run homer in the eighth off Trevor Kelley, his sixth home run this season and third in five games.
Judge ended the game with a 399-foot flyout, giving Adam his fifth save. When Siri caught the ball, the reliever tapped a glove over his heart.
Tampa Bay built its 3-0 lead on Brandon Lowe’s groundout in the first and sacrifice fly in the third along with Issac Paredes’ RBI single. Lowe’s groundout scored Yandy Díaz, who left with left groin tightness.
Elfin allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings and struck out nine. He allowed both homers after taking a comebacker from Volpe off a leg.
Schmidt, coming off his first career win as a starter, allowed a career-high seven runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Schmidt collided with Tampa Bay third base coach Brady Williams in the fourth. Walls hit a triple that Judge could not make a running catch on and when Schmidt raced over to back up the play, he bowled over Williams. In the sixth, Jose Siri collided with Volpe racing back to second base on Abreu’s pickoff toss.
Rays: RHP Pete Fairbanks (right forearm inflammation), who struck out two in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Durham Friday, is expected to be activated for Tuesday’s series opener at the Mets. Durham has been on the injured list since May 3. … RHP Zack Littell was added to the active roster and RHP Javy Guerra was designated for assignment.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rodón (strained left forearm) played catch for the second day and threw from a distance of 60 to 75 feet. He will increase his distance Monday, six days after an injection of a painkiller to his back. … RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) could start next Sunday in Cincinnati if his rehab start on Tuesday goes well. … INF Oswald Peraza (sprained right ankle) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre and went 1 for 4.
Rays: Face Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.25) on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at the Mets.
Yankees: Open a four-game series on Monday at Toronto and face Alek Manoah (1-3, 4.83).
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Larry Fleisher, The Associated Press