St. PETERSBURG, FL – The Yankees have entered Tropicana Field to face their toughest competition in the Middle East battered and bruised – and on Thursday night, it didn’t matter.
Just as he has done all season, Nestor Curtis delivered like an ace, allowing a provisional Yankees lineup that didn’t beat Ryan Yarbrough until the sixth inning, enough time to break through in the 7-2 win over the Rays.
It was the first of 19 games between the two teams this season, with 10 of those encounters coming in the Yankees’ next 25 games.
The victory extended the Yankees’ Middle East lead over Tampa Bay to 5 games.
Curtis took a hard hit in ninth and threw 109 in his career.
After two of the first three hits of the night reached base, Curtis retired 14th in a row before Isiah Kiner-Falefa made a mistake to drive to the bottom of sixth.
By then, the Yankees had built three runs, all at the top of the inning.
“Just clearing that first round was big, especially with Nestor on the hill and how he was,” said Aaron Judge. “You can run once and they’re rolling, we’re in a good place.”
Curtis lowered his ERA to 1.70, but said he still doesn’t consider himself one of the best shooters in the game.
Not really, Curtis said. “I still have a lot to prove, I guess. It’s still early, a quarter [into] the classroom. I want to prove that I can go 30 times and 150 more rounds, hopefully. Just keep my head down and carry on.”
The judge told Curtis’ comments, “I certainly disagree. [But] He can think of whatever he wants if he’s going to keep doing what he’s doing.”
Meanwhile, Yarbrough entered with a 2.41 ERA in 37 innings/against the Yankees and retired 15 of the first 16 hitters he saw, with Anthony Rizzo only arriving in one round in the first.
By putting up a lineup that was without Giancarlo Stanton (ankle), DJ Limaheu (left wrist), Josh Donaldson (COVID IL) and Aaron Hicks (hamstring), the Yankees won their third straight game after suffering their first three-game losing streak. the classroom.
“We have a flexible team,” the judge said.
Matt Carpenter, who had just been fired by the Rangers and signed by the Yankees earlier on Thursday, led the sixth inning with a ground kick, and light-hit Marwin Gonzalez followed up with the Yankees’ first hit tonight, one song in the middle. To bring up the top of the order.
The judge then picked the middle to score Carpenter from second and give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Rizzo flew to the right for the first exit, with Gonzalez moving up to third.
With Ryan Thompson facing Gleber Torres, the judge stole second place.
Torres pops in before Andugar hits a stone to spend a short time. Taylor Walls faltered and then bounced his throw to start, with Harold Ramirez not getting a gauntlet on the ball and escaping, allowing the second round to score in the play, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees scored on Wild Court in the seventh inning to make it 4-0 before Curtis finally gave up another one-stroke at the bottom of the game, as Manuel Margot’s shot at center right narrowly missed the judge.
The left pushed Isaac Paredes to the ground to get out of the first round.
The Yankees ran over three more runs in Game Nine of the Fly Judge and doubled the scoring by Rizzo.
It was a promising start for an important stretch for the Yankees, who built much of their early success against .500 sub teams, including going 9-4 against the late Orioles.
“It was so much fun to be a part of,” said Carpenter, who landed in Tampa three hours before kick-off and was in the lineup only because Hicks got scratched. “I threw straight into the fire and tried to get some good bats together.”