ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Gerrit Cole took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning, Aaron Hicks hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth as Manuel Margot slammed into the right-field wall and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Monday night for their 50th win.

New York has won 17 of its last 19 games, and its 50-17 start is the best in the major leagues since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. The Yankees opened a 14-game lead over third-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Cole struck out 12 and walked three, allowing one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings. Cole struck out six in a row at one point and led 2-0 when Isaac Paredes grounded a slider on his 105th pitch off the mound and into center field. On June 3, Cole pitched 6 2/3 perfect innings at Detroit.

Clay Holmes (5-0) blew a 2-0 lead and allowed his first run since opening day, ending a 31 1/3 inning scoreless streak.

Anthony Rizzo hit a first inning home run off Shane McClanahan, and the Yankees got a run in the seventh on an error by first baseman Ji-Man Choi, the major league-high 45th unearned run allowed by the Rays.

With the score 2-2, Josh Donaldson singled off Jason Adam (0-2) with one out in the ninth and Hicks, batting .321 in June, drove a hanging changeup high off the right-field wall. Margot fell to the field as center fielder Brett Phillips retrieved the ball and Donaldson scored. Rays manager Kevin Cash and an athletic trainer went out to Margot, who appeared to hurt and knee and left the field on a cart.

Jose Trevino followed with a sacrifice fly.

Wandy Peralta pitched the ninth for his second save, and the Yankees improved to 6-2 against the Rays this season, striking out Josh Lowe with two on and retiring Francisco Mejía on a flyout.

After Paredes singled off a clearly deflated Cole, Lowe flied out to Aaron Judge against the center field wall, and Holmes relieved.

Mejía doubled down the right-field line and Yandy Díaz hit a soft bouncer to Holmes, who threw to first for the out as only the second of 13 runners he inherited this season scored.

Margot hit a bouncer to the third-base side, and Holmes’ throw to first was off line and not in time as Margot reached with a single and Mejía scored to tie it 2-2.

Rizzo hit his 19th home run this season and became just the second left-handed batter to homer off McClanahan this year after Seattle’s Jesse Winker.

STREAKING

Jack Acker holds the Yankees record of a 33-inning scoreless streak in 1969.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa missed his second straight game because of a injured left hamstring. … RHP Domingo Germán (sidelined since spring training with right shoulder impingement) is to make his first rehab appearance on Wednesday with Class A Tampa … LHP Zack Britton (Tommy John surgery last Sept. 9) is to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa along and LHP Aroldis Chapman (last pitched May 22 due to left Achilles tendinitis) is to throw batting practice. … Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) threw on flat ground at Tropicana Field.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier left after two innings with left hip inflammation. … SS Wander Franco (right quadriceps strain) played shortstop Monday night in his second rehab start for Class A Port Charlotte. He struck out against rehabbing Chris Sale of Boston, then doubled. … RHP Andrew Kittredge is scheduled for Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

LHP Nestor Cortes (6-2, 1.94) will make his third start of the season against the Rays on Tuesday night against an unnamed starter. Cortes gave up one run on four hits in eight innings in a 7-2 win at Tropicana Field on May 26.

TRAINER’S ROOM

YANKEES: LHP Aroldis Chapman, on the 15-day injured list with left Achilles tendinitis, threw off a mound Tuesday. . . . RHP Domingo German (right shoulder impingement) will make a rehab start for Class A Tampa on Wednesday . . . RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) will throw batting practice when the team returns to New York. . . . SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa was out of the lineup for a second straight game with a tight left hamstring.

RAYS: CF Kevin Kiermaier left the game after two innings with left hip inflammation. . . . SS Wander Franco (right quad strain) played shortstop Monday night in his second rehab start for Class A Port Charlotte. He struck out against rehabbing Chris Sale of Boston, then doubled. . . RHP Andrew Kittredge is scheduled for Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

LHP Nestor Cortes (6-2, 1.94) will make his third start of the season against the Rays on Tuesday night against an unnamed starter. Cortes gave up one run on four hits in eight innings in a 7-2 win at Tropicana Field on May 26.

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