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Rays Extend Winning Streak; Yankees Lose Fifth Straight

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Brian McCann, Ben Zobrist (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Brian McCann, Ben Zobrist (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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By HOWIE RUMBERG,  AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Sean Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and drove in three runs, helping the streaking Tampa Bay Rays extend their longest winning string this year to five and handing the New York Yankees their season-worst fifth straight loss, 6-3 Wednesday.

Ben Zobrist doubled twice among his three hits for the Rays, but ran into two outs. With manager Joe Maddon encouraging his team to be more aggressive on the bases, Rodriguez was thrown out trying to stretch an RBI single to the wall in right field in the fourth.

The Rays won all three games at Yankee Stadium for their first road sweep since taking three in the Bronx Sept. 24-26.

The Rays improved to 11 games under .500 for the first time in a month after falling 18 under on June 10. New York is below .500 at 41-42 for the first time since April 11.

Brett Gardner hit a leadoff homer and an RBI single against Jake Odorizzi (4-7) and added another hit for the Yankees. New York could muster little other than Brian McCann’s long ball on a sweltering day at Yankee Stadium. Humidity made the temperature feel as if it were in the high 90s.

Joel Peralta tied Esteban Yan’s record for appearances with the Rays at 266 when he pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Brad Boxberger was perfect in the ninth for his first save.

Brandon Guyer had an RBI single in the fifth. The Rays put runners on base in every inning but the second against Vidal Nuno (2-5) and three relievers.

Tampa Bay scored its first run on McCann’s passed ball in the third. McCann made up for it in the bottom half, homering into the short porch in right field with two outs.

Despite hitting .220 coming in, McCann batted third because Jacoby Ellsbury was given a day off for being “kind of beat up,” according to manager Joe Girardi.

After the Rays tied it on Rodriguez’s RBI single to right in the fourth _ he was thrown out by Alfonso Soriano, a call upheld by review _ Gardner put the Yankees back on top 3-2 with a bounced single.

In this back-and-forth game, the Rays immediately tied it up in the fifth on Guyer’s RBI single to left field. But Zobrist was thrown out by Gardner trying to score from second.

Logan Forsythe led off the sixth with a single to chase Nuno. Rodriguez greeted reliever Shawn Kelley with a drive just left of Monument Park for the first two-run lead of the day.

Nuno yielded four runs _ three earned _ and eight hits in five-plus innings.

Odorizzi was also pulled in the sixth. He gave up three runs and eight hits. It was the most runs he’s allowed since being charged with four on June 5.

 NOTES: Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira had fluid drained from his right knee. Girardi said Teixeira had been playing with the problem for a short while. “We believe he will be in the lineup tomorrow,” Girardi said. … The Yankees commemorated the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech from July 4, 1939 _ the team is in Minnesota on July 4. As part of the ceremony, a video of Derek Jeter and first baseman from all 30 MLB teams reading the speech was shown on the video board. … New York signed Venezuelan SS Diego Castillo, Baseball America’s No. 24 international prospect. … Up next: The Yankees start an 11-game road trip in Minnesota on Thursday. The Rays face the Tigers in Detroit in the final stop of a 10-game trip.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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