NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees (R) celebrates a three run home run with teammates Robinson Cano #24 and Alex Rodriguez #13 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 16, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Yankees Vs. Rays: New York Defeats Tampa Bay, 6-4, In Series Finale

The Yankees used a five-run third inning to defeat the Rays, 6-4, in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.

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Yankees 6, Rays 4: Russell Martin's 3-Run Home Run Propels New York In Series Finale

Behind a five-run third inning which included a three-run home run by catcher Russell Martin, the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-4, in the series finale at Yankee Stadium. The victory helped New York (83-63) earn a win in the three-game series and retain a one-game lead in the AL East Division standings over the second-place Baltimore Orioles (82-64), who defeated the Oakland Athletics, 9-5.

Winning pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (14-10) wasn't spectacular but was good enough lasting six inning allowing four runs on four hits. The Yankees bullpen shutdown Tampa Bay tossing four scoreless innings. Closer Raphael Soriano collected his 40th save of the season by tossing a scoreless ninth inning.

Martin finished the game 1-for-4 as did captain Derek Jeter, who collected an RBI in the third. Third base man Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

The Yankees were able to get to losing pitcher Matt Moore (10-11) early as he left after just three innings of work. Moore allowed five runs on three hits and four walks.

For more on the Yankees, check out our blog Pinstriped Bible. For more on the Rays, head over to SB Nation's DRaysBays. Visit Baseball Nation for news and nuggets from around Major League Baseball.


Derek Jeter Passes Willie Mays On All-Time Hits List -- Twitter Reaction

Derek Jeter passed Willie Mays Friday night for 10th on the all-time hits list. Here is some of the reaction from around Twitter.


New York Vs. Tampa Bay: Sabathia, Yankees Lose Series Opener, 6-4

The New York Yankees dropped their series opener against the Rays on Friday night, falling 6-4 in the Bronx. The Yankees remained tied with the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East as Baltimore lost to the Oakland Athletics, 3-2. The loss narrowed the gap between the Yankees and Rays to just three games.

Yankee ace CC Sabathia struggled on the mound again, giving up four earned runs in 6.2 innings of work. Sabathia cruised through the first four innings, but the Rays lineup got to him their third time through the order, posting a three-run rally in the top of the fifth. Sabathia gave up a lead-off double to Chris Gimenez and then walked Carlos Pena to quickly put two on. Elliot Johnson and Desmond Jennings delivered back-to-back singles to drive in two and give the Rays a lead they would not relinquish.

Rays starter David Price held the Yankees lineup to just five hits. Captain Derek Jeter managed to get one of those base knocks, a single to the right side that pushed him ahead of Willie Mays into sole possession of No. 10 on the all-time MLB hits list. Jeter got a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd in the bottom of the fifth.

With Price finally out of the game, the Yankees quickly went to work on the Rays bullpen and Joel Peralta. Alex Rodriguez ripped a two-run homer high into the Bronx night to cut the lead to one. The ball went deep into the left-field seats, and it put A-Rod ahead of Lou Gehrig on the all-time MLB runs scored list at 1,889.

Joe Maddon did not wait long to make the call for his closer, bringing on Fernando Rodney for a five-out save opportunity. Rodney would slam the door and the Rays would add another insurance run in the ninth to clinch the 6-4 win.

Ivan Nova will take the hill for the Yankees in Game 2, while the Rays will counter with James Shields. Nova will be pitching for the first time since August 21. He has been on the disabled list since that game with a shoulder issue.

AL East Standings

Baltimore 81 63 .562 0 Lost 1
New York 81 63 .562 0 Lost 1
Tampa Bay 78 66 .541 3 Lost 2
Toronto 65 78 .454 15.5 Lost 1
Boston 65 80 .448 16.5 Won 1

(updated 9.15.2012 at 8:01 AM EDT)

For more on the Yankees, please be sure to check out our blog Pinstriped Bible

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