S T. PETERSBURG, Florida. Adam Ottavino's great escape in the seventh inning, with defensive badistance from DJ LeMahieu, had restored the Yankees' momentum on Friday night against the Rays.

Just another dramatic moment in the first match of the season between the two best current clubs in the Eastern Division of the AL.

And once again, it was Gio Urshela who made the big hit, lunging at a sixth-inning single that sent the Yankees to a 4-3 victory against the Rays for first place at Tropicana Field.

"Gio has probably been our MVP so far," Ottavino said after Urshela's two-run single was the Yankees' only hit Friday in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.

May 10, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA UU; New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) hit a 2-run double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning at Tropicana Field. (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

In this incredible offense since 2019, Urshela is now hitting .375 (9-of-24) with runners in scoring position with 10 RBI.

"A lot of really good things happened tonight," manager Aaron Boone said after the Yanks (23-15) moved into a half game for the Rays (23-14), who consider themselves a worthy candidate throughout the season.

The Yankees have stayed close to the top of the division despite a series of injuries from key players, relying on performances like Urshela's.

"I feel like I'm a different hitter now," said Urshela, a .225 hitter in parts of three previous seasons with the Indians and the Blue Jays. " I try to go with that confidence in every game, in every situation (I'm in) & # 39; & # 39;

This time, Urshela defended herself from a count of 0 and 2 to tie a hook of 2 and 2.

Urshela's week included Tuesday's home run in the ninth game, prompting a come-away victory against Seattle and a simple two-run hit on Thursday, a game that did not start due to a knee injury. .

"Try to look for a shot in the area and make contact," Urshela said of her sixth at-bat on Friday. "(And) try to get a career."

On Friday, the Rays experienced a moment of crossing their fingers when Tyler Glasnow came out in the sixth inning with the strength of his right forearm.

After hitting Gleyber Torres in a curve curve, Glasnow asked the athletic trainer.

However, "I feel good, honestly" & # 39; said Glasnow after the game. " I felt a little pressure there. I thought I would close it (like) for a reason of caution & # 39; & # 39;

Way back

Glasnow entered the game with a 6-0 record and a low 1.47 ERA in the league.

But he was in the clubhouse in the sixth inning when two of his inherited runners scored on the single from Urshela to leave Emilio Pagan.

The Yankees rally began when Gary Sanchez's stunning pop up hit the A-ring of this three-ring circus of a baseball stadium, the only remaining domed stadium in baseball.

"I was hoping it would get stuck there," Boone said with a smile. Obviously, we have a rest there & # 39; & # 39;

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The baseballs that hit the catwalks at the Trop, when they are in fair territory, are in play, and shortstop Willy Adames could not hold on to the catch, starting the Yankees rally.

With a 2-0 lead, Domingo German allowed two homers in the fifth inning, as the Rays took a 3-2 lead.

Right next to the disabled list due to a sprained right thumb, Austin Meadows threw a two-run shot. Two batters later, former Yankee Ji-Man Choi homered in the center.

The German (7-1) had only two homers in his first seven starts (eight appearances) this season.

"It was a very exciting moment for me," said German through an interpreter from the Yankees comeback. (That's right) the kind of team we are & # 39; & # 39;

The big escape

Ottavino loaded the bases in the seventh with none out, but somehow came out of it.

He struck out Tommy Pham, who chased a slider that would have been ball four.

And then he got to Choi in a crazy double play at the end of the inning, a ball that deviated from Ottavino's right thigh to second baseman LeMahieu, who stepped on the bag and fired the first, getting Choi by little.

"I do not know if he would have achieved it if (Ottavino) did not deviate it," LeMahieu said. "Maybe Glebyer would have had it, but he diverted it directly to me."

Torres was then hit in the right elbow with a pitch, but remained in the game and became a double key game in the eighth. It will be re-evaluated on Saturday.

On the seventh inning play, "DJ is very good, I always think he has a chance, I was excited," said Ottavino, who previously played with LeMahieu in Colorado.

Despite an unstable feeling for his broken ball, "you never give up," Ottavino said. "Fortunately, I was able to get out of that."

Tommy Kahnle pitched another scoreless inning before Ottavino, while Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman finished with the Yankees' 15th victory in their last 20 games.

Plus: Didi Gregorius feels eager to leave while working back to the Yankees after an elbow surgery.

Extra bases

CLOSE

Danny Farquhar throws in the Yankees spring training extended game in Tampa
Pete Caldera, Staff writer, @pcaldera

In Tampa, on Friday, Danny Farquhar resumed pitching for live hitters in an extended spring training game of 20 pitches against the Minor's light minors. He left a race not won on two hits.

Right-hander Farquhar was at the Yankees camp this spring as a guest not on the list, beginning his return from a life-threatening event on April 20, 2018, when he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage due to an aneurysm rupture. while throwing for the White Sox.

Plus: Danny Farquhar makes an emotional comeback to a mound of big leagues with the Yankees.

Recovering from Tommy John's surgery, lefty Jordan Montgomery is moving to the point where he could be ready to boost the Yankees' rotation in August.

"That's a realistic kind of goal to think about," said Montgomery, who pitched a 30-pitch bullpen session on Friday. The next time the time ends, "I will begin to incorporate curves" while increasing the number of launches.

"Strengthening is coming and I'm still not eager to let it go," Montgomery said.

Also on Friday, Dellin Betances (impact on the right shoulder) completed his third day of shooting at 60 feet. It will increase your distance on Sunday. "(We're) slowing down, we started to improve it now," Boone said of the right-hander, who may be looking for a return to the Yanks' bullpen sometime in June.

James Paxton (inflammation of the left knee) resumed his game and "seems to have responded quite well" since entering the 10-day disabled list on May 4, according to Boone. Paxton is a candidate to return to the rotation at the end of May.

Miguel Andújar caught a 0-for-18 with an infield hit in the sixth, loading the bases just before Urshela's advance, a two-run single.