ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Maile's bases-loaded single in the sixth provided crucial insurance runs and Blake Snell had a solid performance as the Rays defeated the Yankees, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
The win earned the Rays their first sweep of the Yankees since June 30-July 2, 2014 at Yankee Stadium.
"Feels good to get back on a nice little winning run here," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Obviously, being at home to finish off a sweep. We played really good baseball this weekend and it shows with the amount of wins we got."
Clinging to a 3-2 lead in the sixth, the Rays loaded the bases with two outs against Yankees starter Michael Pineda. Maile singled on Pineda's first pitch to drive home two runs, giving the Rays a three-run cushion.
While Snell was unable to record the 11th consecutive quality start for the Rays' rotation, he was effective in 5 1/3 innings. His only blemish came in the sixth when he walked the leadoff man before surrendering a two-run homer to Carlos Beltran.
The Rays took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on a pair of RBI groundouts. Brad Miller added to the lead with a solo home run in the fifth. Brian McCann's RBI single in the eighth accounted for the Yankees' final run.
"It's tough, because it felt like we were making progress," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We had a good homestand and then we won the first two in Houston. And then you lose Wednesday going into an off-day and then you get swept. It's tough, but you've got to bounce back."
Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 25th save. The Yankees, who traded closer Andrew Miller before Sunday's game, were swept for the first time since May 30-June 1, and are back at the .500 mark.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Double trouble: The Yankees grounded into three double plays during the loss. The first time it was Jacoby Ellsbury with two runners on in the third. The second time it was Didi Gregorius with the bases loaded in the fourth. And the final time it was Chase Headley with the tying run at the plate and nobody out in the eighth inning.
"We had our chances today. We did. We just didn't get the huge hit when we needed it," Girardi said. "... We haven't scored a lot of runs in the second half."
Maile matters: Maile struck out with the bases loaded to end the second inning, so it wasn't surprising that the Yankees intentionally walked Nick Franklin with two outs in the sixth to load the bases for him. This time the catcher came through, threading a single back through the middle. More >
Contact works: After loading the bases in the second and coming away with no runs, the Rays put runners at second and third with no outs in the fourth. Could they bring them home? Kevin Kiermaier answered that question with a groundout to the right side that scored Corey Dickerson and allowed Steven Souza Jr. to move to third. Tim Beckham then grounded to third with the infield drawn in and Souza got such a good jump that third baseman Headley threw to first for the out.
Big Belt: Beltran continued his great year, crushing his 22nd home run. The 22 homers are the most the 39-year-old has had in a season since 2013, when he hit 24 for the Cardinals. But when he came up to bat as the tying run in the seventh inning, he struck out swinging.
"The guys behind me were really playing really well [defensively], so it was fun." -- Snell, on his outing
"It's business, man. If we were having this conversation during my first six years in the big leagues, maybe I would have answered a little different. Maybe I would give you a little more. But I've been through this situation a couple times already. It is what it is." -- Beltran, on rumors he might be traded
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Miller homered for the second consecutive day, but this time he did so while playing shortstop rather than DH. That gave him 17 home runs, and 16 have come while playing shortstop, which is a single-season club record for homers by a shortstop. Miller had been tied with Julio Lugo (2003) and Asdrubal Cabrera (2015). Adding an exclamation point to the blast was that the ball ended in the Rays Touch Tank in center field, making it the fifth to land in there since it opened in 2006. More >
"I'm glad it landed where it needed to land," Miller said.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees:CC Sabathia (6-8, 3.95 ERA) will start for the Yankees at Citi Field against the Mets at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. Sabathia has a 6.70 ERA over his last seven starts after posting an 0.82 ERA in the seven starts before that. He has worked into the seventh inning during his last two appearances.
Rays:Chris Archer (5-14, 4.42 ERA) will start Monday at 7:10 p.m. when the Rays welcome the Royals to Tropicana Field for the first game of a four-game series. The Rays are 0-3 against the Royals this season and they went 1-6 against the 2015 World Series champions last year.