Hicks prevents slam in return, Yanks home for wild-card game

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell winds up during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Hicks robbed Wilson Ramos of a first-inning grand slam in the outfielder’s return from the disabled list, and the playoff-bound New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Tuesday night to clinch home-field advantage if they end up in the AL wild-card game next week.

Tampa Bay’s first three batters reached against rookie Jordan Montgomery (9-7), and Hicks leaped at the 385-foot sign in right-center to get his glove above the wall. He squeezed the webbing tight, preventing the ball from popping out and limiting Ramos to a sacrifice fly.

Hicks strained his left oblique at Boston on Sept. 2 when he reached up to make a running catch on the warning track of Hanley Ramirez’s drive. He walked three times, struck out in the sixth and left the game.

New York moved within three games of AL East-leading Boston with five to play. The Red Sox lost 9-4 at home to Toronto.

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