EditorsNote: Minor fixes throughout
Aaron Judge slugged a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam four batters later as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
The game featured a brief benches-clearing incident in the sixth inning.
Judge gave the Yankees their only lead of the night when he hammered a 3-2 fastball from left-hander reliever Colin Poche (2-3) into the right-center field seats. Judge's 10th homer occurred one pitch after he hooked a ball inches foul down the right field line.
Gregorius subsequently hit his fourth career grand slam, sending a 1-2 fastball into the right field seats. It was the shortstop's second hit in his past 27 at-bats.
The late homers occurred two innings after benches briefly emptied after New York left-hander CC Sabathia fanned Avisail Garcia with two on and two outs.
After the strikeout, Garcia and Sabathia began jawing at each other. Sabathia continued yelling as he walked off the mound, and Garcia inched closer to Sabathia, who was restrained by Gregorius. At that point, the benches cleared and relievers raced from the bullpens. After a few minutes, order was restored and nobody was ejected.
Yandy Diaz homered in the fourth inning and delivered an RBI double in the sixth for the Rays, who are 5-10 in the season series. Austin Meadows homered in the second inning for the Rays, who lost for the second time in their past eight games overall.
Edwin Encarnacion homered in the second inning and DJ LeMahieu went deep in the sixth for the Yankees, who are 19-6 in their past 25 games.
Tampa Bay's Ryne Stanek allowed a run in two innings while being used as the opener for the 27th time.
Sabathia, who was ejected for yelling at former Tampa Bay catcher Jesus Sucre last September and also yelled at Meadows on May 17, allowed three runs on five hits in six innings.
After Nestor Cortes Jr. allowed a hit while getting one out in the seventh, David Hale (3-0) pitched two shutout innings. Hale was lifted after allowing two hits in the ninth. Zack Britton finished in a non-save situation, striking out the only two batters he faced.
--Field Level Media