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Yankees 5, Rays 4: Brett Gardner walks it off again

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The Yankees win the series on another walk-off victory

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Yankees came away with a win after today’s game went back and forth from the first inning all the way to the ninth. Another walk-off victory ensures that the Yankees win the four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays and keeps the team at the top of the division.

Caleb Smith made his second major league start, but like last time, the results were uninspiring. Peter Bourjos led off the game with a solo home run and it didn’t get much better. Overall, he allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four batters in 3.1 innings. He isn’t bad, but he can’t keep hitters off the bases and doesn’t go very long. The Yankees clearly need to upgrade over him if they want to hold onto first place.

The Yankees responded in the second when Gary Sanchez was able to dunk in a ground rule double down the right field line. After advancing to third, Didi Gregorius knocked him in on a fly ball to center field. The Rays took the lead again in third when Lucas Duda hit a sac fly with the bases loaded. Gary saved the day, though, with a solo shot in the fourth.

Adam Warren took over in the fifth, but Steven Souza, Jr. got the better of him with a home run that made it a 3-2 game. In the end, Warren pitched 1.2 innings and struck out one batter. Dellin Betances was able to hold the lead in the sixth, allowing a walk and striking out one. The Yankees answered back in the bottom of the inning when Chase Headley hit a go-ahead, pinch-hit home run to make it 4-3.

Tommy Kahnle held the score despite pitching into trouble in the seventh. He allowed two hits but ultimately struck out two on his way to getting out of the inning. The score held until the eighth inning, when Lucas Duda hit an upper deck bomb off David Robertson that tied things back up.

Aroldis Chapman struck out a batter on his way to a clean ninth before the Yankees won it in the bottom of the ninth. Headley led things off with a walk before Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch. Trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt, Ronald Torreyes was able to bunt for a hit. After a pitching change, Brett Gardner finished things off with an RBI single.

As for the rest of the Yankees offense, Matt Holliday came away with two hits today. Garrett Cooper also contributed with a hit and a walk before conceding first base to Headley. Aaron Judge walked and Torreyes doubled.

The Yankees and Rays finish out their series tomorrow at 1:05 PM.