Jaime Garcia allowed one run in 4 2/3 innings and the Yankees' bullpen bent but didn't break as they beat the Rays, 3-2, on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field. >> Box score
The Yankees scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Todd Frazier's RBI single made it 1-0, and Brett Gardner's single later in the inning drove in a pair.
The Rays cut the lead to 3-1 in the third inning when Kevin Kiermaier homered to right field off Jaime Garcia. In the eighth inning, Adeiny Hechavarria's run-scoring single off Aroldis Chapman sliced the Yankees' lead to 3-2.
Despite the win, there were plenty of mishaps and missteps which almost cost the Yankees the game.
Of late, the Yankees offense seems to be scoring their runs in one inning (all in the second inning today and all five in the fourth inning of Monday's win) and then taking the rest of the day off. The Yankees went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 runners.
Those numbers might have been better, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi inexplicably allowed Austin Romine to hit with the bases loaded and two outs while Aaron Judge and Matt Holliday sat on the bench. Romine struck out and the rally was over.
Girardi managed another uneven game with his relievers. It began with a quick but understandable hook of Garcia, leading to another dominant outing from Chad Green. However, bringing in Chapman for a four-out save instead of allowing Betances to nail down the final out of the eighth inning might have been ill-advised. Fortunately, Chapman found a groove in the ninth inning, but after throwing 34 pitches, he might not be available Thursday.
The Yankees open a four-game series against the Orioles on Friday night at 7:05 at Yankee Stadium.