NEW YORK (AP) — Sluggish to start their AL title defense, the Tampa Bay Rays have found their bearings in the Bronx.
“This venue can motivate you really quick,” manager Kevin Cash said.
Manuel Margot hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Tyler Glasnow overcame cramps and poor control to pitch five innings of one-run ball and the Rays held off the struggling New York Yankees 6-3 Saturday.
The Rays won their second straight in this series after enduring a 3-8 stretch, improving to 7-8 overall. The reigning AL champions are 4-1 against New York this season and 7-1 at Yankee Stadium since the start of 2020. They have won seven straight series against New York, including last year’s Division Series, and taken 17 of 22 games since September 2019.
“Whatever you’re going through before you get here, you better find a way to wipe it out,” Cash said. “Because you have to stay at the top of your game to compete here.”
The Yankees dropped to an AL-worst 5-9, the latest into a season New York has been at the bottom of the league since a 9-17 start in 1991, per Elias Sports. Fans in the Bronx again booed the Bombers as they lost their fourth straight, but the crowd was more restrained a day after some hurled baseballs and other items on the field late in an 8-2 loss to the Rays.
“I felt like we were much more in the fight today, which is at least a good thing,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But we don’t want moral victories right now.”
Francisco Mejía hit a solo shot in the second off Jordan Montgomery (1-1), and Margot made it 3-1 with his homer off the left-hander in the fourth. Joey Wendle added a two-run shot against Jonathan Loaisiga in the seventh, and Mejía had an RBI double in the ninth.
Rougned Odor hit his first homer with the Yankees, a solo…