ST. PETERSBURG, Florida, USA
Pinch-hitter Michael Pérez hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning on his 28th birthday, six Tampa Bay pitchers combined to allow two hits, and the Rays beat the New York Yankees 1-0 on Friday. , leaders of the East Division of the American League.
Yoshi Tsutsugo walked from Adam Ottavino (2-1) in the eighth and went to second with one out when Kevin Kiermaier was walked. Both running backs advanced a base after a wild pitch and then Perez gave the Rays a 1-0 lead with his fly to center field.
Chaz Roe (2-0) pitched the last two innings to charge for the win.
Masahiro Tanaka allowed one hit and struck out five in five innings, retiring his last 13 batters after allowing a single in the first inning by Cuban Yandy Diaz.
The Yankees right-hander needed just 59 pitches in his second start, after starting the season on the concussion list after being hit in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton line during a game simulation on July 4.
New York pitchers also limited the Rays to two hits.
After Blake Snell and Andrew Kittredge kept the Yankees hitless for five innings, the New Yorkers hit their first hit when DJ LeMahieu singled to right field with one out in the sixth off Pete Fairbanks.
Snell required 59 pitches to make it through three innings, with five strikeouts and two walks. Kittredge followed with two perfect innings.
For the Yankees, the Venezuelan Gleyber Torres 4-0. The Dominican Gary Sánchez 2-0. The Colombian Gio Urshela 2-0.
For the Rays, the Cuban Diaz 3-1. Puerto Rican Michael Pérez 1-0 with an RBI. The Dominican Willy Adames 3-0.