EditorsNote: rewords second graf
Tampa Bay leadoff man Travis d'Arnaud hit three homers, including a go-ahead three-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning off Aroldis Chapman, and the Rays stunned the host New York Yankees 5-4 Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
The second-place Rays moved within five games of the first-place Yankees in the American League East thanks to the most productive night of d'Arnaud's career. After hitting solo homers in the first and third off James Paxton, d'Arnaud was down to his last strike against Chapman (2-2).
The catcher, who is still being paid by the New York Mets, fell behind 1-2, fouled off two pitches and reached a full count. On the eighth pitch, he lifted a slider into the second row of the right field seats.
D'Arnaud's big night helped the Rays win their third straight over the Yankees -- all by one run. It also was his second ninth-inning homer against the Yankees, occurring nine days after hitting a walk-off shot against Chad Green.
It was the fifth three-homer game in Tampa Bay history and first since Evan Longoria had one on Oct. 3, 2012, against the Baltimore Orioles.
Edwin Encarnacion homered twice for the Yankees and gave New York a 4-2 lead with a two-out homer off Andrew Kittredge (1-0) in the eighth. Encarnacion recorded his 36th career multi-homer game by jolting a full count fastball into the left field bleachers, one inning after Gio Urshela hit a game-tying solo home run into the left field seats off Emilio Pagan.
Kittredge retired the first two hitters of the ninth but walked Aaron Judge. Oliver Drake came on to strike out Luke Voit to notch his first save of the season and the second of his career.
Blake Snell made his fifth start against the Yankees this season and pitched significantly better than in his last appearance at New York.
Nearly a month after throwing 39 pitches and getting one out in the shortest start of his career, the left-hander allowed one run on three hits in five innings. Snell struck out four, walked two and threw 93 pitches.
Paxton nearly took a second straight tough-luck loss against the Rays. He allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking two.
Green followed with two scoreless innings, getting two warning track fly balls in the eighth, but Chapman allowed singles to Kevin Kiermaier and Guillermo Heredia before blowing his fourth save in 29 chances.
--Field Level Media