NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 25th home run, No. 9 batter Kyle Higashioka followed an intentional walk with a three-run drive and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Wednesday night for their 13th straight win at home.
Nestor Cortes (6-2) outpitched Shane McClanahan (7-3) in a matchup of stellar starters with sub-2.00 ERAs, and Clay Holmes matched Mariano Rivera’s team record of 28 consecutive scoreless appearances.
The major league-leading Yankees have won six in a row and 13 of 14 overall. New York’s 46-16 record is its best after 62 games since 1998. The team’s 13-game winning streak at home is its longest since 1973 at the original Yankee Stadium.
The game was interrupted by nearly 17 minutes in the top of the eighth inning in a dispute over a pitching change after Randy Arozarena was hit by Miguel Castro’s pitch with the Yankees leading 4-1. Pitching coach Matt Blake went to the mound while a Rays trainer attended to Arozarena. Ji-Man Choi pinch hit and manager Aaron Boone came out to bring in left-hander Lucas Luetge.
Following the long delay, Choi lined an RBI single and René Pinto blooped a run-scoring single. Luetge then retired Brett Phillips on an inning-ending flyout.
Holmes remained perfect in 11 save chances after Taylor Walls reached leading off the ninth on an infield hit that first baseman Anthony Rizzo didn’t handle cleanly. Vidal Bruján bounced into a forceout, Yandy Díaz took a sinker for a called third strike that ended an eight-pitch at-bat and pinch-hitter Francisco Mejía grounded out.
New York, with a comfortable lead over second-place Toronto in the AL East, moved 11 games ahead of the third-place Rays, who have lost four of five. Tampa Bay outhit the Yankees 7-3, the second straight night the Rays lost…