Sometimes to snap out of a funk a team needs some help from its opponent. That's what the New York Yankees got Wednesday from Tampa Bay Rays' second baseman Elliot Johnson, who's seventh-inning error allowed the game-winning runs to score in a 6-4 victory at Tropicana Field.
The victory moves the Yankees (77-59) into sole possession of first place in the AL East Divisions standings, as the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4. On Tuesday, New York had dropped into a first-place tie with Baltimore after a 5-2 loss.
Providing the offense Wednesday was catcher Russell Martin, who went 2-for-4 at the plate with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning that gave New York a 4-3 lead.
The Rays used a solo home run by designated hitter Luke Scott to re-tie the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth.
But the Yankees answered and capped the scoring in the top of the seventh when a Johnson throwing error allowed two runs to score.
Hiroki Kuroda (13-10) earned the win pitching six innings allowing four runs on eight hits. Relief pitchers Boone Logan and David Robertson combined to toss two scoreless innings, while closer Rafael Soriano collected his 36th save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.
Losing pitcher Matt Moore (10-9) allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits over 6 1/3-innings.