Ellsbury steal of home on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning tied the game, and the Yankees went on to win a 6-3 decision in the first game of their three-game series.
It was the Yankees’ first straight steal of home since 2001 and the first-ever against the Rays.
Ellsbury had gotten on base with a single, moved to second on another single. A balk moved him to third.
“I don’t know what you do about that other than pitch from the stretch,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said.
Matt Moore took the loss after allowing four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The Rays took a 2-0 lead on a double by Logan Forsythe. They led 3-2 when Brandon Guyer singled in Forsythe. But the Yankees have a large edge in late innings because of their bullpen combination of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, who haven’t allowed any runs this season.
“I dont think we did too many things well,” Cash said.
Today, rookie Blake Snell, the Rays’ top pitching prospect, gets his first major league start. The game starts at 1:05 p.m.