The Rays officially were the home team _ they occupied the Mets' spacious clubhouse, wore white uniforms and batted last, and the public-address announcer greeted them with "Please welcome the Tampa Bay Rays".
It added up to a 5-1 NY victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game series relocated from Tropicana Field to Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma's impact on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Rays manager Kevin Cash says "from what I've heard, the Trop had some minor damages" and adds "I'm optimistic that we'll get there".
Citi Field won't be an entirely unfamiliar venue to the players this week. Boston now has a four-game lead on the Yankees.
Only one current member of the Rays, third baseman Evan Longoria, was on the team when it last played at Citi Field in 2009. But instead of cheers, they got a deluge of boos; applause was saved for the Yankees, who even got the traditional Yankee Stadium roll call in the bottom of the first.
Accustomed to entering in the ninth inning, David Robertson heard the bullpen phone ring in the fourth and knew he might be replacing CC Sabathia. Back-to-back hits from Wilson Ramos and Brad Miller left runners at the corners with only one out.
"I told Ellsbury we're going to take a picture and send it to Pete and say, 'This record is his, you can't have this one, '" Frazier said with a grin.
After starting with 6 1/3 hitless innings against Minnesota last week, Jake Odorizzi (8-8) did not allow a hit until the fourth, when he threw just 15 of 51 pitches for strikes and was chased with two outs.
Arizona (83-61) have a comfortable 7.5-game lead over the third-placed team in the National League (NL) wildcard race, while the Rockies (79-65) have a tenuous 3.5-game lead for the second.
Hechavarria had bid for the cycle on Monday night, missing only the homer.
Matt Holliday put the Yankees ahead in the first with an RBI double off Blake Snell. He flied out to the warning track in right in the eighth.
Tommy Hunter (3-5) pitched one inning to give Tampa Bay, on the fringe of the AL wild-card race, its second win in six games. "The Islanders and Devils are great franchises with great histories and important parts of the league", said Bettman, "but this is also a nationally televised game, and there are a variety of considerations that we had to weigh".
NOTES: The Yankees scratched 1B Greg Bird (lower back stiffness) about an hour before first pitch. He didn't play Monday after coming off the disabled list. Rays OF Steven Souza (bruised left knee) missed his third straight game.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Adeiny Hechavarria #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his eighth inning home run at home plate as Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees looks on at Citi Field on September 12, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.