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

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Report: David Lee signs with the Spurs

Craig Sager to miss Olympics while undergoing bone marrow transplant

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

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

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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