Rays-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees don't care how it's done, as long as they find ways to win games.

Following a walk-off triumph, the Yankees can record their first home sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in seven years Sunday.

After he delivered a tying RBI with an infield single in the seventh inning, Brett Gardner hit a solo home run with two outs in the ninth to give New York (7-9) a 3-2 victory Saturday. The victory came one night after Jacoby Ellsbury's steal of home highlighted a 6-3 win over Tampa Bay (7-10).

"At this point, we'll take it any way we can get it," Gardner said after his second three-hit game in seven days.

The Yankees have found some life through the first two games of the series after losing seven of eight. They've still scored three or fewer runs in nine of their last 11 games and struck out 84 times over those contests.

"It's such a long season," said Gardner, who was 0 for 23 in his previous six games against the Rays. "It's important to put things into perspective. The past week, week-and-a-half, we've had trouble scoring runs but we've got some good pitching the last two days. ... We've got a great group of guys."

New York last swept a home series from Tampa Bay by taking four straight in September 2009. The Yankees might not have an easy time doing it again while facing Drew Smyly (0-2, 2.91 ERA), who is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts against them.

All five runs the left-hander allowed in those starts came via home runs.

Smyly surrendered three homers in his first 2016 start, but none in the last two during which his teammates failed to back him with any runs. He tied a career high by striking out 11 for a second consecutive outing Tuesday, and gave up one hit over eight innings of the 3-0, 10-inning victory at Boston.

Smyly's WHIP of 0.65 entered play Saturday the second-lowest in baseball.

"Drew kept us in that game and did a phenomenal job,'' teammate Kevin Kiermaier said. ''He's just so much fun to play behind. He works quick and just throws a bunch of strikes."

Corey Dickerson had three hits and Kiermaier added two Saturday for Tampa Bay, which has dropped three of four since winning three in a row. Kiermaier is 7 for 18 with two homers in five games after going 0 for 19 in his previous eight.

Teammate Logan Morrison went 1 for 4 on Saturday, but is 3 for 45 with 19 strikeouts through the first 15 games of his Tampa Bay tenure.

Kiermaier and Morrison are a combined 3 for 14 against Michael Pineda (1-1, 5.29), who has allowed two earned runs over six innings in each of his last two starts after yielding six through five of his first 2016 outing. The right-hander fanned seven with one walk in Tuesday's 3-2, 11-inning home loss to Oakland.

New York's Alex Rodriguez endured his second straight 0-for-4 performance Saturday and is 7 for 53 with 18 strikeouts this season. Including the postseason, he's 1 for 7 with five strikeouts against Smyly.

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