St. Petersburg, FL – David Phelps pitched into the eighth inning and Brett Gardner clubbed a two-run homer, as the New York Yankees topped the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-4, at Tropicana Field.
Phelps (3-2) was charged with six hits and four runs over 7 2/3 innings, but the right-hander was forced to leave the game after being drilled on his right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Ben Zobrist.
"His location was excellent. He changed speeds really well. It was a good performance by him and our offense came to life tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson suffered a fractured knuckle on his left pinkie. Granderson's injury, which was a fractured left fifth metacarpal, occurred in the fifth inning when he was hit by a pitch from Cesar Ramos. Granderson stayed in the game and scored on a walk to Jayson Nix, but then was replaced in the field by Ichiro Suzuki in the bottom of the frame.
Lyle Overbay and Nix each drove in two runs, as the AL East leaders avoided their first three-game skid of the season.
Roberto Hernandez (2-5) gave up six hits and five runs over four innings in Tampa Bay's third consecutive home defeat.
"I thought we had some really good at-bats and hit some balls really well, but we have to do a better job pitching," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Overbay had an RBI double and scored on a Nix line single up the middle for a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
Gardner homered to right field with Chris Stewart aboard in the fourth, and the visitors added three more in the next inning for an 8-0 cushion. Granderson was hit by a pitch with one out, and David Adams and Overbay followed with singles before Nix drew a walk on a low pitch to force in a run. Stewart singled to right field, and with two outs, Robinson Cano was clipped by a pitch with the bases full.
Phelps' first 3-ball count didn't occur until the bottom of the fifth when James Loney broke up the perfect game with a double off the top of the wall down the right-field line.
Matt Joyce had an RBI double as part of a three-run sixth frame for the Rays, but Nix tripled in the seventh and scored on a Jamey Wright wild pitch.
Sam Fuld's sacrifice fly plated Kelly Johnson, who tripled in the bottom of the seventh to account for the final run in the opener of this three-game series.
The Yankees have scored first in eight of their last 11 road games ... The Yankees activated pitcher Ivan Nova from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday's game. He was placed on the DL April 27 with inflammation of the right triceps ... Hernandez fell to 1-6 lifetime against the Yankees ... Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 0-for-4 and had his career-high 16-game hitting streak broken.