Vernon Wells was essentially benched yesterday. He was the hero today. Pinch hitting in the seventh inning, Wells delivered a two-out, three-run go-ahead double that gave the Yankees a wild 7-5 win against Tampa Bay. It was Wells’ first extra-base hit since May 31, and it came as he was mired in a 9-for-89 slump that started against these very same Rays. Down by one with the bases loaded — David Adams had walked in a run in the previous at-bat — the Yankees went with Wells instead of Chris Stewart against hard-throwing lefty Jake McGee. Given nothing but fastballs, Wells drove a 1-2 pitch that one-hopped over the wall in right-center. The clutch hit made up for Wil Myers’ two-out grand slam that had put the Rays in front, 5-3, in the sixth inning. Yankees starter CC Sabathia generally pitched well except for the two home runs that nearly cost him the game, and he picked up his fourth win in his past five starts. Mariano Rivera got his 26th save. Rookie Zoilo Almonte was once again terrific, driving in the Yankees first three runs with a two-out, two-run single and a bases-loaded walk. Almonte walked again to load the bases in that decisive seventh.
Associated Press photo