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Yankees beat Rays in series opener, 3-1

Jordan Montgomery tied his career high with nine strikeouts, backed by Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez homers as the Yankees opened a 10-game road trip with a 3-1 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday evening.

Montgomery dazzled over six innings, scattering two hits with a walk in an 85-pitch gem as the Yankees defeated Tampa Bay for just the second time in seven tries this year. Mike Zunino touched the left-hander for a long solo home run in the third inning, but Montgomery retired his final eight batters faced.

Judge put the Yankees on the board early with a first-inning home run off Luis Patiño, Judge’s eighth of the season. A pair of Zunino third-inning passed balls allowed DJ LeMahieu to scamper home with New York’s second run off Patiño, who permitted three hits while tossing 65 pitches.

Sánchez extended the lead in the eighth inning with an opposite-field homer, his fourth long ball of the year. The win was a rare one for the Yankees in St. Petersburg, where they’ve dropped nine of their last 12 games, but the Yankees have won 10 of their last 13 games overall.