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Anthony Rizzo's two home runs lift Yankees to 6-5 win over Rays

May 12, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Rizzo homered twice on his bobblehead giveaway night, the second a go-ahead, two-run drive in the eighth inning that lifted the Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Friday.

Rizzo, whose bobblehead likeness was adorned in Mandalorian garb on Star Wars Night, hit a solo homer in the first against Trevor Kelley.

After Josh Lowe’s three-run homer off Michael King in the eighth put the major league-leading Rays ahead 5-4, Aaron Judge walked against Jason Adam (0-1) in the bottom half and Rizzo homered to right. Rizzo doffed his helmet during a curtain call following his 22nd multi-homer performance.

Wandy Peralta earned his first save this season by striking out two in a one-hit ninth. With two outs and one on, Rays manager Kevin Cash sent right-handed-hitting Manuel Margot to pinch hit for the left-handed-hitting Lowe, who had eight RBIs in the first two games of the series. Margot grounded out.

Randy Arozarena homered in the first and Jose Siri in the second, both off Gerrit Cole.

Yankees rookie Anthony Volpe, in a 7-for-53 slide, was dropped to seventh in the order after 23 consecutive starts leading off. He tied the score 2-2 with a fifth-inning homer and put the Yankees ahead with a seventh-inning RBI single. Oswaldo Cabrera’s run-scoring single extended the lead to 4-2.

Clay Holmes (1-2) stranded a pair of runners in the eighth, striking out Wander Franco and retiring Arozarena on a comebacker. A day after leaving in the fifth inning because of a neck spasm, Franco went 0-for-5.

Last-place New York won for the third time in five games against the Rays this season, closing within eight games of the AL East leader.

Arozarena, Siri and Lowe pointed to their biceps and grinned at the Rays dugout following their homers.

STAR WARS

A parade of characters from the movies walked around the field about half an hour before first pitch to the tune of Meco’s “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band.” Rizzo was adorned in an W-wing pilot outfit and Rays players were pictured as Stormtroopers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: RHP Drew Rasmussen (right flexor strain) was placed on the 60-day IL, one day after blanking the Yankees over seven innings in an 8-2 win. Rasmussen said he felt nerve discomfort in his right arm while facing his final batter, Gleyber Torres. His final four pitches were all off-speed offerings after he’d spent most of the evening throwing fastballs in the mid-90s. Rasmussen, who has undergone Tommy John surgery twice, said he was hopeful this injury wouldn’t require the operation. ... RHP Chris Muller was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. RHP Zack Littell was claimed off waivers from Boston and LHP Garrett Cleavinger (right knee) transferred to the 60-day IL. RHP Chase Anderson was claimed off waivers by Colorado.

UP NEXT

Rays RHP Shane McClanahan (7-0, 1.76 ERA) will try to join Matt Moore (2013) and Charlie Morton (2019) as the only Tampa Bay pitchers to open a season 8-0. Yankees RHP Nestor Cortes (3-2, 4.74 ERA) is 2-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 games against the Rays.