Mallex Smith hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and fell a triple shy of the cycle as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 6-1 Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Smith helped the Rays even the three-game series at one win apiece when he lifted a first-pitch breaking ball from Luis Cessa (1-3) into the right field seats.
Smith's homer made it 5-1, and the Rays cruised to their seventh win in their past nine meetings against the Yankees.
Smith halted an 0-for-11 skid with a third-inning single and scored on a groundout by Ji-Man Choi. After belting his first homer since July 1, Smith hit a double in the eighth off Sonny Gray.
It was Smith's ninth three-hit game of the season and first since a four-hit performance on Aug. 5.
Brandon Lowe drove in the first two runs of his career with run-scoring singles in the second and fifth innings as the Rays won for only the fourth time in their past 18 games at New York. He entered the game hitless in his first 19 at-bats. It was the second-longest streak to begin a career in team history, trailing Stephen Vogt's 0-for-25 start in 2012.
Kevin Kiermaier added an RBI single in the third as the Rays (61-59) stayed at or above .500 for the 33rd straight game.
Rookie Miguel Andujar hit his 19th homer for the Yankees, who fell to 10-11 since putting Aaron Judge on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist. Before the game, both manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman said Judge was not ready to swing a bat, though the outfielder did other baseball activities.
Tampa Bay's Jake Faria made his first start since coming off the disabled list earlier this month. He allowed one run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Faria was lifted after sandwiching two walks around a flyout in the fourth. Chaz Roe hit Neil Walker with a pitch to load the bases, then recorded the final two outs of the frame, with the Rays winning a replay challenge to deny Ronald Torreyes an RBI single.
Ryan Yarbrough (11-5) pitched four shutout innings and was awarded the win by the official scorer. He recorded his ninth win as a reliever, allowing only doubles to Giancarlo Stanton in the fifth and Andujar in the sixth.
Cessa, called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make the spot start, allowed five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. After the game, the Yankees announced that he was sent back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
--Field Level Media