Behind a two-run, go-ahead home run from Evan Longoria and a 2-for-4, two-RBI night from Justin Upton, the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees Tuesday at Tropicana Field. The loss was the Yankees' sixth in their last eight games and dropped them into a first-place tie with the Baltimore Orioles (76-59) in the AL East Division standings -- the Orioles routed the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-0, on Tues.
New York was in solo first place for 84 consecutive days.
Handed a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning, losing pitcher Freddie Garcia (7-6) gave up a run in the innings' bottom half and then surrendered the advantage when Longoria hit his blast in the bottom of the third.
Winning pitcher Alex Cobb (9-8) pitched seven innings allowing two runs on four hits. Joel Peralta pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the hold, while Rays' closer Fernando Rodney collected his 41st save of the season tossing a scoreless ninth.
In the top of the fourth inning, Yankees' manager Joe Girardi was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo. Girardi got heated after Yankees' hitter Chris Dickerson was called out after looking at a called-third strike -- initially, the feeling was Dickerson was not granted timeout by Randazzo but Girardi admitted in his post-game interview that wasn't the case.
After Dickerson was called out, Girardi then began chirping at Randazzo from the top step of the dugout and that led to his fourth ejection of the season.
Tampa Bay climbs within 1 1/2-games of first place in the AL East, and could cut the lead to a 1/2 if they defeat the Yankees in Wednesday's series finale (7:10 p.m.).