Jason Bartlett hit a leadoff homer to set the tone as the Tampa Bay Rays opened up a four-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East on Wednesday.
Evan Longoria had three hits and two runs batted in, sending the division leaders to their fifth straight win in the 10-6 result. New York scored four times with two outs in the ninth to make the score more respectable.
Yankees lose Posada
New York manager Joe Girardi said after the loss that veteran catcher Jorge Posada has a broken bone in his right foot and will be out of the lineup three to to four weeks.
Posada, 38, had been out of the lineup for three games prior to Wednesday. He was 9-for-16 in his last five appearances to improve his batting average to .326.
Tampa Bay stole six bases against starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, including four in a four-run fourth. Burnett (4-2) would tough it out by lasting into the seventh inning. He gave up six runs on nine hits and is now winless in his last three starts.
Longoria and B.J. Upton each stole two bases, with Hank Blalock and Ben Zobrist also successful.
Wade Davis (4-3) struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win. Tampa Bay is now 29-11, the best record for a major league team after 40 games since Boston had the same mark in 2002.
Trailing 10-2 going into the ninth, New York scored four times with two outs against Andy Sonnanstine.
Bartlett's solo blast was followed by a Longoria sacrifice fly in the third. John Jaso and Carl Crawford hit doubles in the fourth to help give Tampa Bay a 6-0 lead before the home team got on the board.
Alex Rodriguez came home on Francisco Cervelli's sacrifice fly in the fourth and two innings later belted a solo shot. Half of Rodriguez's six home runs this season have come in the last six games.
But New York again got a lacklustre effort from its middle relievers, with Boone Logan and Mark Melancon each tagged for two runs.
Pinch hitter Ramiro Pena knocked in two runs for the Yankees in the ninth, while Robinson Cano drove in a run on his fourth hit of the night.
The clubs conclude their two-game set on Thursday. James Shields (4-1) is expected to take the mound for the visitors, with New York countering with veteran Andy Pettitte (5-0).