ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – After falling three points early and trailing into the eighth inning on Wednesday night, the Yankees were on the verge of doing something unthinkable: lose a second game in a row.
But they returned to 2022 form in eighth, when Jose Trevino continued to deliver with his bat, hitting a go-ahead, two-point homer in a 5-4 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Michael King and Clay Holmes held the lead and the Yankees avoided losing consecutive games, something they have not yet done since losing two consecutive games in Tampa Bay on May 28-29.
“We keep showing ourselves and everyone that we can win in different ways,” said Aaron Boone. “Whatever the game brings, we are really confident that we will eventually find a way to win.”
Aaron Judge has scored two more homers and now has a top of 27 in MLB as he prepares for Friday’s scheduled refereeing hearing and the Yankees landed a handful of stellar defensive plays, including one from Trevino, as they kept up with the 1998 squad, improving to 51-18, tied for the third best start in franchise history.
The Yankees will open a series against the Astros with a 12-game lead in the AL East.
Wednesday’s comeback overshadowed a rare night off for Jordan Montgomery.
Making his first start against Tampa Bay this season, the southpaw conceded four runs – and two homers – the season’s record in six innings.
New Yankee killer Isaac Paredes, fresh off a three-homer night on Tuesday, started the bottom of the second with another home run that got the Yankees into a 1-0 hole.
After Josh Lowe scored with an out, Vidal Brujan crushed a two-run shot in the center left to take the Rays 3-0.
DJ LeMahieu led the match with a center single and right-footed Shane Baz then retired for nine in a row until Judge opened the top of the quarter with a left homer.
The Rays added a run at the bottom of the quarter, but Trevino and Josh Donaldson helped Montgomery escape further damage after loading bases later in the quarter.
On a play called by Donaldson, Trevino knocked out Taylor Walls in third place to finish the innings.
Boone said he felt the team was “a little flat ahead” and the game gave the Yankees “a shot in the arm”.
A Tampa Bay mistake brought the Yankees closer with two outs in the sixth.
With Giancarlo Stanton in second and Matt Carpenter early, Trevino hit a routine short throw, but Taylor Walls rebounded the shot in first and Ji-Man Choi failed to come up with it, which allowed Stanton to score and score 4-2.
The judge led the Yankees on a run with his second homer of the night to open the top of the seventh out Colin Poche.
Rescuers from Tampa Bay, who threw well in a bullpen match in their win on Tuesday, were put to the test again on Wednesday.
And when coach Kevin Cash went to Ralph Garza Jr. to start the eighth – the seventh pitcher of the night of the Rays after they used the same number on Tuesday – he was out of luck.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked and Trevino followed with a two-point homer left, his sixth of the season, to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.
Boone and Judge supported Trevino’s inclusion in the All-Star Game, but the receiver said “if it happens, it happens. I want to win a championship”.
Trevino is playing an important role in the excellent start of the Yankees.
“This is a dream come true, for sure,” said Trevino, a grown Yankees fan. “Everyone is seeing the squad right now. Nobody saw me two or three years ago and not even last year. There has been a lot of hard work and it’s starting to get to the top. “
Clarke Schmidt pitched around a double lead in a goalless seventh and King and Holmes pitched a goalless inning, with Holmes picking up his 12th save.