Rays 8, Yankees 3

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Evan Longoria and David DeJesus homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays extended their winning streak to six games with a 8-3 victory over the New York Yankees, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Rays (89-69) remain one game ahead of the Cleveland Indians (88-70) for the first American League wild-card spot. They also ensured that will finish ahead of the Kansas City Royals, who entered Wednesday four games behind the Indians.

Tampa Bay never trailed and went ahead for good in the third on an RBI single by DeJesus and a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce, who led off Tuesday's win with a home run.

The Rays extended their advantage by hitting back-to-back home runs for the seventh time this season. Longoria made it 6-2 by sending a 1-2 fastball from David Huff well over the left field fence. Just as he was settling in the dugout, DeJesus drove a fastball over the wall in right-center.

Longoria led off the ninth with his second home run of the night. It was his 13th career multi-homer game and his second of the season.

David Price (9-8) ended a three-game losing streak, winning for the first time since Aug. 25. He allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings while retiring the last 10 hitters of a 108-pitch outing. Price struck out eight without issuing a walk.

Brandon Gomes loaded the bases in the eighth, and Joel Peralta gave up a bases-loaded walk to pinch hitter Lyle Overbay. The walk occurred just as Cleveland wrapped up a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox, a result that ended the Yankees' playoff hopes.

Peralta recorded the final out of the inning before Alex Torres finished up in the ninth.

Phil Hughes (4-14) made what might have been his final start for the Yankees. Hughes, a free agent in the offseason, allowed three runs and seven hits over two-plus innings, getting pulled four batters into the third after throwing 51 pitches.

Eduardo Nunez scored two runs for the Yankees, who needed a win and a Cleveland loss to stay alive. Nunez scored on Robinson Cano's double in the first and hit a solo home run in the third.

For the second straight night, Tampa Bay quickly went ahead, taking a 1-0 lead six pitches into the game on James Loney's double to center field. The Rays had two on when Longoria reached on an error by shortstop Brendan Ryan, but Hughes retired DeJesus and Delmon Young.

New York quickly tied the game as Nunez led off with a double to left and scored on Cano's one-out double. Cano was stranded as Alfonso Soriano struck out and Vernon Wells flied out.

The Yankees had Huff warming up when the Rays had men on first and third with two outs in the second following a throwing error by Soriano, but Hughes retired Wil Myers on a fly out to right field.

Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead on a single to left by DeJesus. They loaded the bases on an infield single by Young, though replays showed that Nunez's glove reached the bag before Longoria's foot.

After Girardi came out for a brief discussion with third base umpire Tim Timmons, he lifted Hughes. Joyce made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to center field, but Huff ended the inning with consecutive popups.

The Yankees made it a one-run game when Nunez opened the third with a home run to left field.

NOTES: The Yankees announced that in the wake of the delay with the Mariano Rivera bobbleheads arriving to Yankee Stadium Tuesday that anyone with tickets for the game could redeem them for free seats to a game next season. ... New York held a brief pregame ceremony honoring retiring LHP Andy Pettitte. There was a video tribute, and Pettitte was presented with a base from Sunday's start signed by SS Derek Jeter and Rivera. ... Tampa Bay played without SS Yunel Escobar (ankle) and C Jose Lobaton (elbow), who are considered day-to-day. OF Desmond Jennings (hamstring) did not start, but he hit a single in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter. ... DH Travis Hafner was activated off the disabled list after missing nearly two months with a right shoulder injury. The Yankees placed LHP CC Sabathia on the 60-day DL, two days after announcing he has a Grade 2 left hamstring strain.
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