Yankees takeaways from Saturday’s 9-8 win over Rays, including two Aaron Judge home runs

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May 13, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports / © John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Aaron Judge-led Yankees exploded for nine runs and the bullpen held onto a 9-8 win on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

It was a battle between two dominant lefties, but one inning knocked them both out of the game. They have now taken two of this four-game series and cut the Rays’ AL East lead to seven games.


– Nestor Cortes got off to a fast start, getting the Rays out on just six pitches in the first inning thanks to a double play.

The Rays got to Nestor in the second inning. Three straight singles by Randy Arozarena, Isaac Paredes and Taylor Walls put Tampa Bay up 1-0.

In the fifth inning, Cortes worked into some trouble after giving up a one-out walk and then another free pass caused by a pitch-clock violation. A Francisco Mejia single loaded the bases for the top of the Rays lineup. Yandy Diaz launched a 2-1 cutter down but over the plate into the left-field stands to give the Rays a 5-0 lead. It was Diaz’s first-career grand slam.

Nestor gave up a hard-hit double to Wander Franco and manager Aaron Boone pulled the lefty for Jimmy Cordero. Arozarena brought in another run with an infield single to put the Rays up 6-0. It was the second time this season that Cortes could not get out of the fifth inning — the first coming April 30 against the Texas Rangers. Nestor’s final line was 4.1 IP (78 pitches), seven hits, six runs, two walks, and three strikeouts.

– On the other side, Shane McClanahan cruised through two innings before a Jake Bauers leadoff single got the Yanks’ first hit. Kyle Higashioka walked, which was followed by a deep Gleyber Torres flyout to center. Judge hit a deep flyball that was caught in the centerfield warning track. Anthony Rizzo, Friday night’s hero, came up with men on first and third and softly flew out to center to end the threat.

The Yankees offense worked counts and walked against McClanahan, but not much else until the fifth inning. Higashioka got a hold of a 2-2 pitch and planted it in the leftfield stands with Bauers on to get the Yankees on the board 6-2. Higashioka now has two career home runs off of McClanahan in his career.

After a Torres walk, Judge launched a pitch into right-center field to cut the deficit to 6-4. Rizzo would drive a double to knock McClanahan out of the game. The Rays’ relievers would get LeMahieu to ground out, Harrison Bader to pop out to the catcher and a pinch-hitting Oswaldo Cabrera to fly out to end the threat.

McClanahan’s final line was 4+ IP (91 pitches/56 strikes), five hits, four runs, four walks, three strikeouts and two home runs — the most runs he has allowed this season.

– DJ LeMahieu got a lot of work at in the hot corner.

In the fifth, Arozarena scolded a grounder to third, which LeMahieu picked up and launched to first to get the outfielder and end the inning, but the Rays challenged and it was overturned, allowing the runner from third to score.

LeMahieu also got on base, going 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. He’s reached base safely in 28 of the 36 games he’s started this season.

– The Yankees broke out in the sixth inning. Anthony Volpe led off with a bunt single and stole second. He stole third base in the inning to bump his season mark to 13-of-13 on attempts, and then scored on a wild pitch.

Volpe became the first-ever Yankee to steal his first 13 steal attempts successfully.

– Judge gave the Yankees the lead in the sixth. After a Torres walk, Judge launched a missile into the left-field stands. The only question was if it was fair. Saturday was Judge’s 29th game where he hit multiple home runs and is now tied for fifth in Yankees history. Judge finished the game 2-for-4 with the two homers.

The Yankees loaded the bases thanks to a Rizzo bunt single, and walks by LeMahieu and Bader. Cabrera came through with a single to plate two and extend the Yankees lead to 9-6. The Yankees sent 10 men up to the plate in the sixth inning.

Ron Marinaccio came out in the seventh and struggled with his command. After giving up a leadoff single to Francisco Mejia, he hit Diaz. He got Franco to ground out, but Boone replaced Marinaccio with Clay Holmes. The Rays brought in Josh Lowe off the bench, who had eight RBI in this series already, but Holmes struck him out swinging. Arozarena would poke a broken-bat single up the middle to bring the score to 9-8, Yankees. Those runs were charged to Marinaccio who has now given up four runs in his last two appearances (0.2 IP).

Holmes started the eighth and got around a leadoff single, punctuated by a nine-pitch strikeout of Diaz to get the Yankees into the ninth inning with the lead. Wandy Peralta started the ninth by striking out the first two batters. He walked Arozarena on eight pitches before getting Brandon Lowe to fly out on the ninth pitch of his at-bat to close out the game.

Here’s how the bullpen performed Saturday:

  • Cordero: 1.2 IP, one hit, two strikeouts

  • Marinaccio: 0.1 IP, one hit, two runs

  • Holmes: 1.2 IP, three hits, three strikeouts

  • Peralta: 1 IP, zero hits, one walk and two strikeouts


What’s next

The Yankees complete their four-game home series with the Rays on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 p.m.

Clarke Schmidt is scheduled to start for New York while the Rays go with Zach Eflin.

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