New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15: Kyle Higashioka #66 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting 3-run home run in the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

YANKEES 4 – RAYS 3

Another day, another Yankees victory. It’s almost as automatic as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west at this point.  The Yankees found a way to hold off a late Tampa Bay Rays rally, winning 4-3 for New York’s sixth consecutive victory. The Yankees are 13-1 in their last 14 games, and sit at an MLB best 46-16 on the season. 30 games over .500.

As has become a very common formula for Yankees victories this year: they hit home runs, and get great starting pitching. That was the case again on Wednesday the Yankees managed only three hits the entire night, two of them coming on home runs by Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka. Higgy’s three-run bomb in the fifth inning supplied starting pitcher Nelson Cortes a 4-0 lead.

Cortes, once again, was brilliant. The crafty left-hander held the Rays to just a run — a Manuel Margot RBI double in the sixth inning — over 5.1 innings of work.  Cortes walked three and struck out four.

The bullpen, which had been so good this year, ran into a bit of trouble in the late stages. With two out in the eighth inning, Miguel Castro gave up a double to Margot, and hit Randy Arozarena. Luis Luetge came in and proceeded to give up RBI base hits to Ji-Man Choi and Rene Pinto, before getting Brett Phillips to fly out to end the inning.

In the ninth, closer Clay Holmes gave up an infield single to Taylor Walls before settling down to get out of the jam, earn his 11th save and get the Yankees over the finish line. Holmes microscopic ERA improved to 0.29 as a result.