Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/16/12

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees erupted early Sunday, one big inning giving them a boost to provide Hiroki Kuroda the support he would need when the Tampa Bay Rays threatened later.

Russell Martin hit a three-run homer and Eduardo Nunez continued to spark the Yankees' offense with a pair of runs scored and three stolen bases as New York topped Tampa Bay 6-4, to take a key series.

The Yankees moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, pending the result of Baltimore's later game against the Oakland A's. Tampa Bay fell five games back of the Yankees in the East and 3 1/2 behind the Orioles for the second wild card.

Along with losing five of six to the teams they're chasing in the AL East, the Rays had a couple of run-ins with home plate umpire Paul Emmel on Sunday. Manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the fifth inning while Matt Joyce got tossed after arguing a called third strike in the eighth.

Kuroda (14-10) gave up four runs on four hits while striking out 10 and walking two.

Rafael Soriano watched the tying run come to the plate after an error by Alex Rodriguez in the ninth, but got Jeff Keppinger to hit into a game-ending double play for his 40th save of the season.

Rays starter Matt Moore (10-11) coughed up five runs on three hits in just three innings.

Ben Zobrist homered for the Rays, who head back to Florida for a seven-game home stand.

The Yankees erupted for five runs in the third, led by Martin's three-run homer to right. Nunez started the inning with a walk and stole second before Derek Jeter singled him in for a 1-0 lead. Rodriguez later added a RBI single and then Martin blasted his 17th homer of the season to give New York a 5-0 lead.

When Moore, who walked three batters in the inning, threw a pitch high and tight to Curtis Granderson, following the homer, Emmel warned both benches.

Maddon apparently disagreed with that decision and was ejected, as he got into a lengthy, animated argument with the ump.

Tampa Bay scored its first run in the fourth, on Zobrist's homer to right, but the Yankees countered in the bottom of the inning with Nunez again showing some speed on the bases. After he reached on an error, Nunez stole second and third and eventually scored on Rodriguez's sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.

Kuroda had mostly cruised, but the Rays sneaked back into the game with a three-run sixth. A two-run single by Evan Longoria brought Tampa Bay within 6-3 and put runners at first and third with no one out.

But Kuroda got Joyce to hit into a double play, which scored a run to make it 6-4, but effectively killed the rally. Kuroda struck out B.J. Upton to end the inning.

NOTES: Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte is scheduled to start Tuesday's game, his first appearance since he fractured his left ankle on June 27. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Pettitte will be limited to about 70 pitches. Pettitte said his abbreviated season might cause him to consider pitching again next year after initially thinking he would come out of retirement to pitch only this season. ... Rays right fielder Sam Fuld left the game in the middle of the fifth with a mild right hamstring strain, an injury he sustained running out a grounder to end Tampa Bay's side of the fifth. ... Maddon's ejection was his fourth of the season.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker