New York's Gerrit Cole crafted eight brilliant innings to finally solve Tampa Bay in the regular season, and the Yankees secured another series Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Cole (5-1) yielded only four hits, struck out 12 and did not issue a walk in moving to 1-4 in his career against the Rays in the regular season.
The right-hander lowered his ERA to 1.37 and has 78 strikeouts and just three walks in 52 2/3 innings pitched.
Aaron Hicks' sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Aaron Judge with the only run as the Yankees improved to 5-0-2 in the past seven series.
Judge went 3-for-4, Gio Urshela posted two hits and Aroldis Chapman stayed perfect with his ninth save for the Yankees, who won their fourth straight and are 11-3 in the past 14 contests.
Tampa Bay's Collin McHugh turned in his second straight two-inning scoreless stint as the opener before leaving for bulk innings left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.
After producing just three hits in Tuesday night's 3-1 loss, the Rays had only four, were shut out for the second time this season and fell to 1-4 in the past five games.
Cole pitched out of trouble in the first after Austin Meadows' towering fly to right field clanked off the domed stadium's B-ring catwalk and landed in fair territory behind first base.
With the ball ruled in play, Meadows legged it out for a double, but Cole got a groundout from Manuel Margot and a swinging strikeout of Brandon Lowe on a high 97 mph fastball.
On a 3-2 pitch with one out in the fifth, Yarbrough busted an 85 mph cutter for called strike three under the hands of Clint Frazier, who turned, voiced his displeasure to home plate umpire Bill Miller and was ejected for the first time in his career.
Cole again pitched out of a slight jam in the sixth after Randy Arozarena doubled off the top of the left field wall with one out. However, Cole induced a groundout by Meadows before blowing away Margot on a 99 mph high fastball.
In the seventh, the Yankees broke through against Ryan Thompson (2-2) with a single by Judge and a double by Urshela to open the frame and put runners on second and third.
With reliever Jeffrey Springs in and one out, Hicks lined a sacrifice fly to center to plate Judge for the only run.
--Field Level Media