ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were playing from ahead most of the night Wednesday, taking a three-run lead into the sixth inning, but between their own mistakes and the Yankees’ constant threats, it seemed like a matter of time until they gave it away.
The eighth inning was that time.
Reliever Ralph Garza Jr., pitching for the first time since June 10, walked the first batter and gave up a home run to the second, Jose Trevino, as the Yankees rallied for a 5-4 win.
For a game they led through seven innings, the Rays (37-32) made quite a mess. Shortstop Taylor Walls committed a run-scoring throwing error, Walls and Arozarena made costly outs on the bases, and their seven pitchers walked eight, one off their season most.
The Rays got off to a good start.
Isaac Paredes homered leading off the second, picking up where he left off Tuesday, when he hit a team record-tying three home runs, then was hit by a pitch his fourth time to the plate.
In doing so, Paredes became the first player in the Rays’ 25-season history to homer in four consecutive at-bats.
After a one-out single by Josh Lowe, Vidal Brujan — another of the Rays’ young players getting extended opportunity thanks to a slew of injuries — lashed a two-run homer.
The Yankees got one back in the fourth when Aaron Judge hit his 26th homer of the season on the first pitch from Shane Baz, who had struck out the previous five batters.
The Rays extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth when Francisco Mejia drove a ball to rightfield and, after the initial out call was overturned, stretched it to a double. He went to third on a flyout and scored on an infield out.
The Rays were in position to add on with the bases loaded, following consecutive walks with Ji-Man Choi up, but Walls got caught leading — unnecessarily — too far off third by catcher Jose Trevino.
The Yankees crept closer as the Rays ran through their relievers in the middle innings, and Walls made another costly error.
Calvin Faucher walked Giancarlo Stanton on four pitches to start the sixth and allowed a one-out single to Matt Carpenter. He looked to be out of the inning with a two-out grounder by Trevino, but Walls bounced the throw and Choi couldn’t make the pick, making it 4-2.
Judge made it 4-3 leading off the seventh, crushing a hanging curveball from Colin Poche over the B-ring catwalk and into the leftfield seats.
This story will be updated.
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