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Yankees 9, Rays 3

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 03 2014 03:59:25 PM CDT
Updated On: May 03 2014 03:59:25 PM CDT

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka settled down after a shaky start to pitch seven innings and third baseman Kelly Johnson led off the bottom of the sixth with a go-ahead home run as the New York Yankees rallied for a 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

Tanaka (4-0) continued his trend of allowing runs early, as he gave three runs in the first four innings, allowing solo home runs to designated hitter Desmond Jennings and right fielder Wil Myers.

After giving up the home run to Myers, Tanaka retired 12 of the final 14 hitters.

The Yankees did not lead until Johnson hit a 2-and-1 fastball from right-hander Josh Lueke (0-2) into the right-center field seats.

Before Johnson's fourth home run, first baseman Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in the fourth and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury highlighted a three-hit day with a ground-rule double in the fifth that scored right fielder Ichiro Suzuki.

Teixeira also hit an RBI single in the seventh and designated hitter Alfonso Soriano added a sacrifice fly as the Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak and scored more than five runs at home for only the second time this season.

New York added three runs in the eighth on a run-scoring double by Suzuki and a two-run single by left fielder Brett Gardner.

Tanaka went seven innings for the fifth time in six starts, striking out five batters without a walk while throwing 76 of pitches 113 for strikes.

Tanaka ended his day by fanning shortstop Ben Zobrist and Jennings on splitters in the seventh.

Right-hander Dellin Betances relieved Tanaka and allowed a two-out double to first baseman James Loney, but pitched a scoreless eighth.

Preston Claiborne finished up with a hitless ninth for the Yankees, who opened the series by going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in a 10-5, 14-inning loss.

Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi continued his trend of fast starts before fading, as he allowed three runs and five hits over four-plus innings.

Odorizzi entered Saturday holding opponents to a .171 average the first time through and retired the first nine hitters before the fourth.

Odorizzi was lifted in favor of Cesar Ramos after Ellsbury's double, but the Yankees were unable to take the lead as catcher Brian McCann grounded out and Soriano grounded out to third.

NOTES: The Yankees purchased the contract of RHP Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes Barre and said that he will be their long reliever. Aceves was 10-4 with the 2009 Yankees, but had his first stint in New York derailed by a back injury in May of 2010. ... RHP Chris Leroux was designated for assignment by the Yankees after allowing five runs and five hits in the 14th inning on Friday. ... Before C Ryan Hanigan's single, opposing hitters had been hitless in their previous 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position against Tanaka. ... LF Matt Joyce snapped a hitless skid of 11 at-bats with a third-inning single. . ... Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon spent part of the early innings complaining about plate umpire Doug Eddings' strike zone, but was not ejected for the second straight game.

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