Zoilo Almonte provided much-needed pop in his first major league start, homering and adding two singles Friday night that led the New York Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2.
Almonte started in place of slumping left fielder Vernon Wells and quickly delivered, a day after getting a pinch single for his first hit. The 24-year-old rookie was promoted from Triple-A this week, joining an injury-ravaged team that's had trouble scoring.
Almonte also showed off a strong arm in helping the Yankees win for the third time in 10 games.
David Phelps (5-4) beat Roberto Hernandez (4-8) and the Rays for the second time in a month. Tampa Bay was trying for its first three-game winning streak in June.
Phelps gave up two runs in 5 2-3 innings. The Yankees used four relievers to finish it, with Mariano Rivera closing in a non-save situation.
Before Almonte's solo homer in the sixth inning made it 5-2, the Yankees played a lot of small ball.
Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly in the first and Ich...