The Yankees won the opener 8-4 as ace Gerrit Cole came within one strike of earning his 20th straight regular-season win.
Cole, who had won his first three starts since signing a $324 million, nine-year contract in the offseason, took a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning but gave up three runs with two outs and was pulled because of a high pitch count.
In the nightcap, the Rays used six pitchers during a bullpen game. Aaron Judge, who hit his eighth home run of the season in the opener, flied out with a runner on base to end it.
“We’re still not rolling but this was encouraging,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We had some pretty good at-bats against Gerrit.”
Lefty-swinging Mike Ford hit for Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton against lefty Jalen Beeks in the sixth inning of Game 2 with two on and no outs. Stanton, who also homered in the first game, exited with tightness in his left hamstring.