Gardner’s walk-off single leads Yankees past Rays, 5-4

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Gardner’s walk-off single leads Yankees past Rays, 5-4
Gardner’s walk-off single leads Yankees past Rays, 5-4

NEW YORK (AP) – Brett Gardner hit a bases-loaded single in the ninth inning to give the New York Yankees their sixth straight victory, 5-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

With the game tied at 4, Chase Headley started the ninth with a leadoff walk off Brad Boxberger (2-3). Pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury stole second and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch. Adeiny Hechavarria and Tim Beckham miscommunicated on a grounder for the second time in the series to load the bases, prompting a pitching change.

Gardner, who homered in the 11th inning to give the Yankees a 6-5 victory on Thursday, calmly stroked Dan Jennings’ 0-1 fastball up the middle for his second game-winning hit of the series.

Headley and Gary Sanchez homered for New York, which moved a game up on the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. Tampa Bay fell four games behind New York in the division and three behind Kansas City for the second AL Wild Card.

Lucas Duda, acquired from the New York Mets on Thursday, homered for the second consecutive game for Tampa Bay, this one a solo shot that tied it at 4 in the eighth inning. Duda also had a sacrifice fly. Peter Bourjos and Steven Souza Jr. also homered for the Rays, who dropped their sixth consecutive game at Yankee Stadium.

Aroldis Chapman (4-1) worked around a pair of baserunners in the ninth to earn the victory. Chapman threw 11 of his 13 pitches over 100 mph.

Headley’s pinch-hit, two-run homer gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the sixth and spoiled Blake Snell’s bid for his first win of the season. The left-hander, who allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings, hasn’t won since Sept. 22, 2016.

In his second career start, Caleb Smith allowed a pair of runs in 3 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM:

Rays: 1B Logan Morrison (bruised left heel) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game, but singled as a pinch-hitter. Pitcher Austin Pruitt pinch ran for Morrison two batters later. … OF Kevin Kiermaier (right hip fracture) and INF Daniel Robertson (neck spasms) were scheduled to play their third rehab games with Class-A Charlotte.

Yankees: SS Didi Gregorius appeared to have been injured on Souza’s ninth-inning stolen base. Gregorius was attempting a backhanded tag when Souza arrived at the same time, dislodging the ball. After doubling over in pain, Gregorius was checked by the New York medical staff and remained in the game. He was charged with an error on the play.

UP NEXT:

In a matchup of rookies, the Rays’ Jake Faria (5-1, 2.67 ERA) opposes Jordan Montgomery (7-5, 3.92 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale. Faria will be the first visiting rookie to start in the Bronx on his birthday since Jason Hammel defeated Andy Pettitte on Sept. 2, 2007. Montgomery got a no-decision against Tampa Bay in his major league debut on April 12.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner connects for a base hit allowing Jacoby Ellsbury to score the winning run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. The Yankees won 5-4. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Todd Frazier is hit by a pitch during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius hangs on to the ball and keeps his foot on the bag for the force out at second base on Tampa Bay Rays’ Wilson Ramos (40) during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. The Yankees won 5-4. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius drops the ball as he attempts to put the tag on Tampa Bay Rays’ Steven Souza Jr. who attempted to steal second base during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. Souza advanced to third on the play. The Yankees won 5-4. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger reacts after hitting New York Yankees’ Todd Frazier with a pitch during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner, right, heads up the first base line after hitting an RBI base hit that allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to score the winning run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. The Yankees won 5-4. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner, center, is mobbed by teammates after batting in Jacoby Ellsbury for the winning run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner, center, is mobbed by teammates after batting in Jacoby Ellsbury for the wining run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. The Yankees won 5-4. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury (22) steals second base safely as Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) takes the throw during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Chase Headley is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Chase Headley, right, celebrates with Matt Holliday after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Yankees’ Gary Sanchez is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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