NEW YORK -- Brian McCann sent a walk-off three-run homer over the right-field fence in the 12th inning to push the Yankees past the Rays, 7-5, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. It was the Yankees' first walk-off win of the year.
"That would have been an extremely tough game to lose, and I give our guys a ton of credit," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The Rays scored twice in the first and were leading, 3-0, when Mark Teixeira belted a game-tying three-run homer over the right-field wall in the eighth off reliever Kevin Jepsen. The next three innings stayed scoreless until Kevin Kiermaier and Rene Rivera each hit an RBI single in the 12th to give Tampa Bay a 5-3 lead. After Kiermaier reached first base on his go-ahead hit, a pigeon flew at his head, causing the center fielder to drop to the ground.
Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the 12th with a walk and then Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira followed with back-to-back one-out singles to right field, with Teixeira's hit scoring Gardner. That set the stage for McCann, who made the Yankees winners with his 13th home run of the season. The Yankees are in first place in the American League East, a division that is extremely tight. The Rays are tied for third yet are just two games back.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Archer's mastery:Chris Archer loves to pitch against the Yankees. On Friday he went 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out eight to lower his career ERA vs. New York to 1.78 in eight games. The Rays' ace threw a career-high 122 pitches and left with Tampa Bay leading, 3-0.
Mixed results:Masahiro Tanaka opened the season with wins in four of his first six starts, but he hasn't been as consistent recently. After three consecutive seven-inning stints on June 3, 9 and 15, Tanaka hasn't gotten through more than six since. He did post a quality start on Friday, which was a marked improvement over his past two outings for the Yanks. More >
Sizemore sizzles: Grady Sizemore played in his first game with the Rays on Sunday, getting three hits against the Red Sox. Since then he has continued to hit. He got the Rays going early on Friday when he led off the game with a double. That opened the door for a two-run first inning. Sizemore finished the night with three hits in four at-bats to raise his average to .409 with the Rays. More >
Teixeira in the clutch: With the Yanks held scoreless through seven innings, Teixeira's 20th homer of the season tied the game at 3. He leads the AL with 58 RBIs.
"Kind of a knockdown, but you get back up." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash, on the tough loss
"We're a veteran team that knows what it takes to win ballgames, so no one's going to get down. Our lineup, anyone can hurt you in our lineup." -- McCann, on rallying back
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Archer did not allow a leadoff batter to reach base (0-for-7). He entered Friday night's game with the second-lowest opponents' batting average in the Major Leagues against batters leading off the inning (.133), trailing only Max Scherzer (.128).
UPON FURTHER REVIEW Asdrubal Cabrera was thrown out by center fielder Gardner trying to stretch a single into a double for the final out in the top of the ninth. After being called out, the shortstop waved to the dugout telling Cash to challenge the call. After review, it was ruled that the call stands.
In the top of the 11th inning, Evan Longoria was originally called safe after Chris Young had fired the ball to Jose Pirela to make the tag at second when Longoria tried to advance on his hit to left field. The Yankees challenged the call and it was overturned. It was determined that Longoria's right leg lifted off the base when Pirela applied the tag, making him the second out of the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Nathan Karns (4-4, 3.26 ERA) makes his 17th start of the year on Saturday against the Yanks at 1:05 p.m. ET, and the right-hander is trending in a positive direction. After going 1-1 with a 5.32 ERA in his first four starts, Karns is 3-3 with a 2.54 ERA in his last 12.
Yankees:Michael Pineda (8-5, 4.08 ERA) takes the mound on Saturday. The right-hander has started six games against the Rays in his career, four of which have come with the Yankees. He is 2-1 in his career against the Rays with a 3.22 ERA. In his last outing, Pineda tossed his first complete game but was still pegged with the loss against the Astros.