I am telling you right now, the Yasiel Puig that everybody sees outside is not that. He is just a great guy; a fun guy [with a] great heart. That’s who he is. That’s his personality. He is still learning what’s right to do around here or what’s not right. He is just learning the culture of the United States, I feel. Sometimes, I feel like us as Latinos kind of complicates stuff a little bit. People from here kind of see it differently. And I feel like with Yasiel, it was the past, too, that a lot of stuff could have gone differently for him. Since the beginning, he could have been better; he could have worked harder. He could have [been more] disciplined.
Now that we have other people around here, he is really well disciplined.
Did you ever think, when you made the transition to become a pitcher, that you would become a franchise closer?
No, I never thought that would ever happen. When I started pitching [due to] De Jon Watson, who used to be the farm manager here and now is a scouting director, I never thought that could happen.
Winner Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) entered in the second and allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Sergio Romo worked the ninth for his fifth save in nine chances.
Getting those tough wins against a really tough opponent was great, Yarbrough said.
The Rays, 12-19 in one-run games, are 3-5 during a stretch of 16 games with the Yankees, Washington and Houston.
Willy Adames put the Rays ahead 1-0 with a run-scoring single off CC Sabathia (4-3) in the fourth. Sabathia allowed two runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Tampa Bay has just two established starters in its rotation with injuries to Chris Archer and Jake Faria.
Whatever kind of combination they’ve got going on over there, it worked tonight, Sabathia said.
Tampa Bay went up 2-0 in the fifth on C.J. Cron’s sacrifice fly, a drive with two on that Yankees right fielder Giancarlo Stanton snared with a leaping catch at the wall.
That was a really special play, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.