Grisham drives in 2 runs, New York bullpen shines to help struggling Yankees beat Rays 2-1


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Trent Grisham drove in two runs and made a nice running catch in center field to help the struggling New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Wednesday night for only their seventh victory in 24 games.

Relievers Tim Hill (3-0) and Luke Weaver each worked out of jams to protect a one-run lead, and All-Star closer Clay Holmes came on to bail out the Yankees from yet another tight spot in the eighth inning as the Rays finished 0 for 10 with runners in scoring positions and stranded 12 men on base.

Holmes got his 25th save and first since June 9 after blowing a pair of chances. Yankees pitchers had allowed home runs in their seven previous games and 18 of 19.

Grisham ran down Yandy Díaz’s potentially troublesome drive toward the gap in right-center for the final out in the eighth.

The Yankees rolled to a major league-best 50-22 record through June 14, but have gone 6-16 since then to fall out of first place in the AL East.

In an effort to jumpstart the team’s sputtering offense, Yankees manager Aaron Boone dropped hot-hitting Ben Rice into the clean-up spot after the rookie homered four times over his previous three games as the leadoff batter.

It was Grisham, though, who got the Yankees off to solid start against Zach Eflin (5-6) with a RBI double in the second and a fourth-inning sacrifice fly that made it 2-0.

Yankees starter Marcus Stroman, meanwhile, allowed one run and seven hits over 4 1/3 innings — the second time in his past three outings the right-hander failed get through the fifth inning.

Díaz grounded into a force play to drive in Tampa Bay’s only run, and Hall helped New York avoid further damage in the fifth when he replaced Stroman with the bases loaded and fanned Josh Lowe and got Randy Arozarena to fly out.

It was Luke Weaver’s to bail the Yankees out in the sixth, taking over for Hill with two runners on before getting Taylor Walls to ground into an inning-ending double play on the right-hander’s first pitch.

Eflin worked a season-high seven innings for the Rays, yielding two runs and four hits while walking one and striking out six.

New York pitchers held the Rays to one run despite allowing 10 hits, five walks and hitting a batter.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees 3B DJ LeMahieu appeared to be hit in the left hand by a pitch in the second inning but remained in the game. The Yankees had another anxious moment in the seventh when LeMahieu fouled off a pitch from Eflin and the ball bounced up from the dirt and struck the New York infielder in the face.

UP NEXT

Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes (4-7, 3.40 ERA) was set to start Thursday night in the series finale against Shane Baz (0-1, 4.50).

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