Brett Gardner 3rd Yankees Player with Leadoff Homer Following Walk-off Homer

Brett Gardner 3rd Yankees Player with Leadoff Homer Following Walk-off Homer”

Looking every bit like an ace, Tanaka took a ideal game into the sixth inning and struck out a career-high 14 as the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Friday night for their fifth straight win.

Gardner, who homered in the 11th inning to give the Yankees a 6-5 victory on Thursday, calmly stroked Dan Jennings' 0-1 fastball up the middle for his second game-winning hit of the series.

Tanaka struck out the first five batters, all swinging. Manager Joe Girardi said it's possible Hicks might return when NY returns from its next trip on August 11. He threw 66 percent of his pitches for strikes, compared with 54.8 percent in his previous start. Meanwhile Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier and Aaron Judge all provided Home Runs in Tanaka's support. Tanaka impassively watched the ball roll into center field and, after a brief ovation from the fans, went back to work.

"Right out of the gate, he went his split, his cutter, his slider".

"That team's on fire right now and it seems like a lot of things are going their way", Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

Archer allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He doffed his hat to the crowd as he walked off the mound, then tipped his cap once more before reaching the dugout.

"I felt like I was (doing well) but I do believe I could have done better", he said.

David Robertson closed with a ideal ninth to wrap up the game in 2 hours, 23 minutes. Tampa Bay fell four games behind NY in the division.

Yankee Stadium went nuts as Holliday and Headley trotted around the bases and the Yankees went ahead, 4-3. It was his 18th homer overall this year.

Chase Headley, who hit a pinch-hit homer in the sixth, started the winning rally with a leadoff walk and was replaced at first by Jacoby Ellsbury.

Frazier was in the on-deck circle as Gardner headed to the plate in the ninth.

Judge lost part of the tooth when a helmet he was holding got hit upward inadvertently by a teammate. In the jumping and jostling, the helmet got jammed into Judge's mouth and cracked his tooth.

Montgomery took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds and allowed two hits in 6 2/3 innings.

The Rays continued to bolster their bullpen for the pennant race on Friday, acquiring reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners for versatile RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

Three weeks after heading into the break with a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Yankees (56-46) are 10 games above.500, 11-5 since the All-Star break and 8-1 in their last nine games as they attempt to get their first four-game sweep of the Rays since September 7-9, 2009, in NY. Duda's second homer forced the Yankees to create their breaks and rely on Gardner in the ninth.

Iglesias' second run-scoring double tied the game at 3 in the seventh.

The Rays will likely have to overcome it without Logan Morrison, who was not in the starting lineup for a second straight game due a bruised left heel. Manager Joe Girardi wasn't sure whether Chapman would be available.

The only other time a visiting rookie started and won on his birthday against the Yankees was in 1994, a young lefty for the Angels named Brian Anderson, now the Rays TV analyst.

Yankees: Rookie LHP Caleb Smith (0-1, 8.10) struggled for 3 2/3 innings last weekend in his first major league start, losing at Seattle. He turned 26 on Friday.

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