NEW YORK -- Desperate for a win as the Tampa Bay Rays stood on the cusp of slipping out of the playoff race, David Price gave the Rays the type of ace-like effort the New York Yankees haven't been able to get from CC Sabathia lately.
Price limited New York to two runs in seven innings in Tampa Bay's 6-4 win Friday night as the Rays slumping offense woke up against Sabathia and Fernando Rodney thwarted a late Yankees rally for a five-out save.
The Rays' win followed their three losses at the Baltimore Orioles and moved them within three games of the Yankees for at least the second wild card spot. New York fell a half-game behind the Orioles in the AL East, pending Baltimore's late game against the Oakland A's, who hold the top wild card lead.
Price (18-5) allowed five hits, striking out six and walking two.
The Yankees picked up a couple of impressive milestones to pass two of the game's biggest legends, but it wasn't enough for the victory.
Derek Jeter notched his 3,284th hit in the fifth, to pass Willie Mays for 10th place on baseball's all-time list, before adding another single in the eighth.
Alex Rodriguez's two-run homer off Joel Peralta, to bring the Yankees within 5-4 in the eighth, gave him his 1,889th career run scored. That pushed him past Lou Gehrig for ninth place on baseball's all-time list.
After Peralta walked Robinson Cano to put the tying run on base, Rays manager Joe Maddon went to Rodney, who threw 18 pitches Thursday night, but hadn't pitched in the previous four games. Rodney struck out Russell Martin and, after a wild pitch moved Cano to second, got pinch hitter Raul Ibanez to ground out to end the inning.
The Rays scored on a two-out error by shortstop Eduardo Nunez in the eighth to go up 6-4, before Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save of the season.
B.J. Upton homered for Tampa Bay, Ben Zobrist's two-out single chased Sabathia in the seventh and Upton led off the eighth against Cody Eppley with his 23rd homer of the season.
Sabathia (13-6) gave up four runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, to lose his third straight decision.
Granderson smacked his 38th homer of the season just over the outstretched glove of center fielder B.J. Upton and off the top of the wall to pull the Yankees within 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Yankees threatened for more when Nunez smacked a drive down the left field line and appeared headed for a double. But the ball struck third base ump Jerry Meals, who made the infamous blown out call when replays indicated Mark Teixeira was safe on a game-ending double play in Baltimore last week. Meals hopped high in the air in a tremendous effort to dodge the ball, but it hit his knee and ricocheted back into the infield, keeping Nunez at first. Jeter then followed with his milestone hit to pass Mays, a hard shot off second baseman Elliot Johnson's glove.
After a brief ovation, Nick Swisher hit a deep fly to left -- which would have likely scored Nunez had he advanced to third on Jeter's single instead of second. Rodriguez then grounded out to end the inning.
Trailing 1-0, the Rays took a 3-1 lead in the fifth, after scoring just two runs apiece in their last three games. Chris Gimenez doubled to lead off the inning before Carlos Pena walked and Johnson followed with a RBI single to tie the score. Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings singled in a run to make it 2-1 before Zobrist walked.
The Yankees turned a 5-4-3 double play on Evan Longoria, but that scored another run before Upton flied out to end the inning.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the second on a two-out RBI single by Steve Pearce.
Sabathia had allowed 13 runs in his last 20 1/3 innings entering the game, but shut the slumping Rays out for the first four innings.
Notes: Jeter is expected to play through a bone bruise in his left ankle the rest of the season. Jeter, who chafes at the prospect of discussing injuries, started as the DH on Friday night. "I don't talk about it. You either play or you don't," he said before the game. "I'm playing, so it's not an issue to talk about or discuss." ... Left-hander Andy Pettitte (fractured left ankle) "did great" in throwing a bullpen and several other baseball activities Friday, manager Joe Girardi said, adding Pettitte appeared ready to finally return next Tuesday. ... With the Rays struggling offensively and several hitters having good numbers against Sabathia, Maddon shuffled his lineup, putting Evan Longoria, Upton and Jeff Keppinger in the 3-4-5 spots.
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