Charlie Morton struck out 10 in 5 2/3 effective innings and the Tampa Bay Rays scored twice in the first inning to salvage a four-game split against the New York Yankees with a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tommy Pham had an RBI double off James Paxton (5-4) and scored on a groundout by Avisail Garcia as the Rays won for the fourth time in 13 meetings with the Yankees this season.
Brett Gardner homered for the third straight day as the Yankees finished the first half by going 16-4 in their last 20 games. New York headed into the All-Star break with a 6 1/2-game lead on Tampa Bay in the American League East.
Morton (10-2) reached double digits in wins before the All-Star break for the second time in his career and lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.32 ERA. He held the Yankees to one run on five hits while throwing 100 pitches.
Morton kept the Yankees off balance by constantly throwing his curveball and recorded his 13th career double-digit strikeout game. The right-hander struck out four of the first seven hitters, recorded two more in the third with two runners on and fanned Aaron Judge twice.
Morton improved to 13-2 in his last 26 starts since Aug. 17 and ended his outing by fanning Edwin Encarnacion on a foul tip with Gary Sanchez on first.
Aaron Nola carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Jay Bruce continued tormenting his former team by hitting two home runs and collecting four RBIs as the visiting Phillies beat the Mets.
The Phillies took two of three against the Mets to improve to 10-15 since June 10 — a span in which they are 6-1 against New York and 4-14 against everyone else.
The Mets are a NL-worst 8-17 since June 10.
Nola (8-2) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed only two walks in the first 5 1/3 innings before Jeff McNeil reached on an error by Hoskins, immediately before rookie Pete Alonso's 30th home run, which tied the franchise record for homers before the All-Star break. The two-run blast gave Alonso 68 RBIs this season, the most ever by a NL rookie prior to the All-Star break.