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Yankees out of 1st place after sweep by Rays

It was an afternoon of losses at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. James Paxton’s bid for a no-hitter evaporated, Gleyber Torres departed with an injured left hamstring and the Yankees couldn’t keep their grip on first place in the American League East.

After four sharp innings, Paxton’s effort soured in a three-run fifth, and New York’s bullpen allowed the Rays to bat around in a five-run sixth. Tampa Bay held on to deal the Yanks a 10-5 loss, completing a sweep of the three-game series and moving a half-game ahead in the division race.

“It’s been a lot of close games, and they’ve got the better hand of us so far,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Thursday’s game. “They’re a really good team. They’re excellent at run prevention.”

Mike Zunino’s three-run homer off Luis Avilan was the big blow of the sixth inning for Tampa Bay, which has defeated the Yankees in six of seven games this season. The Yankees had not been swept at Yankee Stadium in a series of three or more games since the Indians won three straight from Aug. 28-30, 2017.