The Yankees welcomed Edwin Encarnacion on Monday and general manager Brian Cashman expressed the need to launch more launchers.
Then they went out and started a crucial farm showing again that they are already very good.
Masahiro Tanaka started a two-game shutout in his best outing of the season. The attack was launched by DJ LeMahieu and Cameron Maybin in the 3-0 win over Tampa Bay in the Bronx.
With their third consecutive victory, the Yankees extended their lead in the eastern part of the AL to 1½ games on the team they will play a further 10 times by mid-next month.
He also started a key sequence against two of the best in the American League, the Astros arriving later this week.
"We are facing a divisional rival tonight, a team we will fight with all year," said Aaron Boone before the match. "Every time you meet a divisional opponent, you can say that it takes double importance. We know that we are facing a very good opponent tonight and in the coming days. But I do not really look into this 10-day perspective. I know we have a homestand of 10 days. But it's the focus on the rays [and] the challenges that their range presents. "
Against Tanaka, the Rays have not done much damage this season. He registered after giving a single point in 13 innings in two previous outings and continued with an even better performance on Monday.
After an eighth place of six lengths, Tanaka qualified for the ninth, despite 100 shots, one less than his season high. His last shutout was also against the Rays on July 24 in Tampa Bay.
The result was very different for Tanaka, who had allowed at least four earned runs for each of his three previous starts.
Encarnacion did not do much in his Yankees debut, but he did not have to. Before the match, Cashman had insisted on the Rays' interest in trading with Seattle because Encarnacion "has no factor to take into account", the Yankees wanting to add another right-handed batter.
On Monday, Yonny Chirinos, leaving Tampa Bay, withdrew the first seven batters he faced before Maybin scored the center of the list with a draw in the third. He came in second when Kevin Kiermaier mishandled the ball for mistake.
After Brett Gardner, LeMahieu broke through his eighth circuit of the season in the center of the Rays in the center-left to take the score to 2-0.
The Yankees extended the heat as Luke Voit walked and Aaron Hicks doubled the corner on the right, but Gary Sanchez gave a header to end the strike.
Tanaka allowed his first base player of the match to qualify for the fourth time, when Austin Meadows started the heat with a rocket fighting for a single. The right-hander had three other batters and was helped by his defense in the fifth, when LeMahieu made a nice dive in the center of Joey Wendle's lining in the center deflected by Tanaka. Moved near the second goal, LeMahieu stabbed the ball and returned to Didi Gregorius to end the inning.
Maybin added ahead of the Yankees when he smoked his fourth circuit of the season at the opening of the bottom of the fifth.