ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have developed a knack for comeback wins.
- Rays top Yankees 2-1
- Rays remain in 2nd AL wildcard spot
- A’s, Rays and Indians chasing 2 wildcard spots with five days left in regular season
Ji-Man Choi’s game-ending home run in the 12th inning that helped Tampa Bay remain on track for an AL wild card berth. The Rays beat the New York Yankees 2-1 Tuesday on a night CC Sabathia pitched a perfect inning in his first regular-season relief appearance.
“Walk-offs are always so much fun,” said the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier, who also homered.
Choi homered off Cory Gearrin (1-3) after Pete Fairbanks (2-3) struck out Brett Gardner with a runner on second and two outs in the top half.
“It’s definitely an awesome feeling,” Choi said through a translator.
Tampa Bay remained a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the second AL wild card, and the Rays closed within a half-game of Oakland for the top wild card.
“That’s September baseball,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Especially with their depth, they can be really aggressive with creating matchup advantages early and often in the game. It made it for some tough sledding for the offense today.”
Tampa Bay has trailed in 14 of its last 15 games, going 10-5 over the stretch.
“Everyone in here knows that is at stake right now,” Rays reliever Chaz Roe said.
Tampa Bay has won a club-record eight straight extra-inning games.
“I’ll remember this season regardless of what happens the rest of my life,” Kiermaier said.
AL East champion New York (102-56) slipped as it tries to overtake Houston (103-54) for best record in the AL and homefield advantage throughout the AL playoffs.