New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium
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Yankees take series over Rays; Fans cheer Soto and boo Judge

The New York Yankees won two of three games at home against the Tampa Bay Rays in a roller coaster weekend series that featured "MVP" chants for Juan Soto and boos for Aaron Judge. The team also celebrated Yankees broadcaster and recent retiree John Sterling before the second game of the series. His reward for years of iconic work was an emotional tribute and a giant TV.

Game One

Yankees - 5

Rays - 3

Juan Soto was the star of the show after cracking a three-run dinger in the bottom of the seventh, electrifying fans and the Yankees dugout alike. The homer was part of a run-filled rally that put the Yankees ahead, 5-1. Despite two more runs from the Rays in the eighth, it wasn't enough to capture a win. The Bombers took the opener, 5-3.

So far this season and in the game, New York's lineup was led by Soto, Anthony Volpe, and Oswaldo Cabrera, who drove in four of the Yankees' five runs. Judge went 1-for-3 with a walk, a decent performance that couldn't shake him out of his early-season funk.

Clarke Schmidt turned in another solid day's work on the mound, allowing one run and striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings. In relief, Dennis Santana earned the win with another strong outing. Ian Hamilton unexpectedly faltered, giving up two runs in just one inning. Clay Holmes notched his eighth save of the season.

Game Two

Yankees - 0

Rays - 2

The best part of game two was probably the pre-game tribute to Sterling, who has many TVs at home and was gifted another one by the Yankees. In stunning high resolution, Yankee fans at home watched their team lose a long, boring, extra-inning slog of a game. Soto went 2-for-4 with a double, but the rest of the lineup was lifeless at the plate. Judge struck out four times, provoking some controversial boos from the home crowd.

"Nasty" Nestor Cortes was dynamite, pitching seven scoreless innings and earning nine Ks in seven innings. But Caleb Ferguson blew the game in the tenth inning, allowing two Rays runs that put the nail in New York's coffin. Ferguson's ERA on the year stood at 6.23 after the loss.

Game Three

Yankees - 5

Rays - 4

New York won the final game of the series and improved to 15-7 on the season. Alex Verdugo had his best game thus far as a Yankee, going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs. Cabrera continued his mind-blowing hot streak, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI. His .838 OPS is second-best among all starters, behind only Juan Soto. Judge's struggles at the plate continued; he went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Starting pitcher Luis Gil had a nice afternoon, striking out nine batters and allowing zero earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Santana had a rough relief appearance, allowing three of the Rays' four runs in only one inning. But Victor Gonzalez locked things down in the final inning, earning his second save of the year and improving his ERA to 1.08.

It was a so-so series for the Yankees, who lucked out with some poor Tampa Bay baserunning. The bullpen was shakier than usual, blowing one game and allowing the other two games to become unexpectedly close late in the contest. Soto and Cabrera continued to be the best hitters on the team, while Judge remained in a slump.

What’s Next For The Yankees

The Bombers will remain home for a four-game series against the Oakland A's that begins Monday afternoon.

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