Domingo German became the majors’ first seven-game winner, Gio Urshela got a key hit set up by a pair of odd bounces and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Friday night.
The injury-filled Yankees pulled within a half-game of the AL East-leading Rays in the first of 19 meetings between the teams this season.
German (7-1) was matched up against Tyler Glasnow (6-1), who left in the sixth inning with right forearm tightness.
Glasnow struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings. He signaled for a trainer after striking out Gleyber Torres and was pulled.
German allowed three runs and five hits over five innings. Aroldis Chapman, the fourth Yankees reliever, worked the ninth for his ninth save.
Home runs by Austin Meadows and Ji-Man Choi gave the Rays a 3-2 lead entering the sixth.
Gary Sanchez opened the Yankees sixth with an infield single on a popup that struck the highest of four overhanging catwalks — approximately 185 feet high — and fell in the infield as Tampa Bay players scrambled to catch the carom.
Clint Frazier followed with a single and Torres fanned, finishing Glasnow. Emilio Pagan relieved and Miguel Andujar hit a grounder that took a crooked hop off the mound and went for an infield single that loaded the bases. Urshela then delivered a two-run single for a 4-3 lead.
On Thursday night, Urshela entered in the seventh for defense and hit a two-run single in the eighth of a 3-1 victory over Seattle.
The Rays loaded the bases on two walks and a bunt single in the seventh, but Adam Ottavino worked out of the jam by striking out Tommy Pham and getting Choi to hit a grounder that second baseman DJ LeMahieu fielded, raced to second for an out and threw to first to complete a nifty double play.
Meadows, reinstated from the 10-day injured list after missing 15 games with a strained right thumb, hit a two-run homer and Choi added a solo shot two batters later off German as the Rays went up in the fifth. German had allowed just two homers overall in six previous starts.
New York took a 2-0 lead in the first when LeMahieu scored on rookie Nick Ciuffo’s passed ball and Torres’ RBI single.
The Yankees currently have 12 players on the injured list, including Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Luis Severino and James Paxton.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery) will increase from 30 to 35 pitches and start incorporating curveballs in his next bullpen session Tuesday. “I’m starting to kind of see some light at the end of the tunnel in the bullpens when I’m throwing the ball and it’s going where I want it to,” Montgomery said. … Paxton (left knee inflammation) is playing catch.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy (left hamstring strain) is scheduled to resume a rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte Monday. … C Mike Zunino (left quadriceps strain) joined backup C Michael Perez (strained right oblique) on the 10-day injured list.
Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (2-1) will go against an unannounced Tampa Bay reliever Saturday night. Sabathia is currently tied with Amos Rusie for 47th place on the career wins list with 248.