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Rays end 2-game skid, beat Yankees 7-5



ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Scott Kazmir allowed one hit in six scoreless innings, and Tampa Bay's bullpen weathered ninth-inning home runs by Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez to hang on for a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night.

Willy Aybar homered and drove in three runs for the AL East-leading Rays, who avoided a three-game sweep and extended their lead in the division over second-place Boston to 3 1/2 games.

The Red Sox, who face Tampa Bay six times over the next two weeks, were idle.

Kazmir (11-6) limited the Yankees to Cody Ransom's fifth inning double, walked five and struck out seven, but a high pitch-count (98) prevented him from going deeper into the game. Ransom also singled off reliever Trever Miller in the seventh for New York's second hit.

Chad Bradford worked a scoreless eighth but Tampa Bay lost its bid for its 13th shutout of the season in the ninth when Jason Hammel gave up RBI single to Ransom, who finished 3-for-3, and home runs to Jeter and Rodriguez.

Jeter's three-run shot to right field moved him within four hits of tying Babe Ruth for second on the Yankees career hit list. Rodriguez followed with career homer No. 550 to trim New York's deficit to 7-5.

Associated Press

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:38am]


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