Travis d'Arnaud
AP Photo/Scott Audette

The New York Yankees staged a ninth-inning rally behind Aaron Hicks, but a former New York Met had a surprise for them in the bottom half.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The New York Yankees again staged a late comeback against the Tampa Bay Rays. This time, Tampa didn’t let them go to extras.

A walk-off solo shot from Travis d’Arnaud negated a tying blast from Aaron Hicks a half-inning before, allowing Tampa to escape with a 4-3 victory. The former New York Mets catcher had three of Tampa Bay’s eight hits and drove in half of their runs.

Hicks’ eighth home run of the season came with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Facing Colin Poche (W, 2-1), Hicks crushed a home run to left, threatening to send the Yankees and Rays into extra innings for the third consecutive day.

Hicks previously had a pinch-hit home run in Friday’s game that tied a game the Yankees eventually won in 11. He previously broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh with an RBI single that scored Gio Urshela.

Also wasted in the loss was a strong performance from CC Sabathia. He needed just 89 pitches to go seven innings, striking out five. Included in that tally were two innings in which he needed less than 10 pitches to leave.

Sabathia’s lone big blow was a home run by Nate Lowe that necessitated Hicks’ equalizer. The rookie Lowe has homered in back-to-back games, the first two homers of his career.

The other run for the Yankees (57-30) came via a solo Brett Gardner home run in the second.

With their win, the Rays (51-39) managed to slightly trim their deficit in the AL East to 7.5 games.

There’s a chance for a Yankees series win or Rays equalizer tomorrow afternoon at Tropicana Field (1:10 p.m. ET, YES/TBS). James Paxton (5-3, 4.09 ERA) will go up against Charlie Morton (9-2, 2.36 ERA) in the final game for each team before the All-Star break.

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