Yankees hang on for dear life in badly needed win over Rays

ST.PETERSBURG, Fla.

— It was by no means pretty, but the Yankees are not competing in a beauty pageant.Given how ugly it’s been for them lately, they will take a win any way they can get it, style points be damned.On Wednesday night, that meant leaning on their bullpen to tough out a 2-1 nail-biter over the Rays at Tropicana Field that marked only their seventh win in their last 24 games.After a pair of RBIs from Trent Grisham staked them out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, the Yankees (56-38) hung on for dear life from there to give themselves a chance Thursday to win their first series since mid-June.In relief of Marcus Stroman, who went only 4 ¹/₃ innings while giving up one run, the Yankees’ bullpen quartet of Tim Hill, Luke Weaver, Tommy Kahnle and Clay Holmes did some high-wire work to keep the one-run lead intact.The four relievers — part of a Yankees bullpen that has been battered for the better part of two months — combined to toss 5 ²/₃ scoreless innings and strand 12 runners.Overall, the Yankees held the Rays (45-47) to 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, negating a 10-6 hit differential that favored Tampa Bay.Coming into the game, Aaron Boone had slightly shaken up the lineup in hopes of sparking the offense, flipping Alex Verdugo into the leadoff spot with Ben Rice taking over cleanup spot duties.But it was the middle to bottom of the order — namely Grisham, batting seventh — that was responsible for the Yankees taking a 2-0 lead off Rays right-hander Zach Eflin.Anthony Volpe, who entered the night in a 3-for-37 skid, roped a one-out single in the second inning and came all the way around to score on Grisham’s double off the top of the short left-field wall to make it 1-0.The Yankees then got some help from the Rays to score their second run.

Gleyber Torres led off the fourth inning with a full-count walk before Volpe hit a ground ball to first base.Yandy Diaz stepped on first for the out and threw to second to try fo...

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Publisher: New York Post

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