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Rays lose to Yankees, watch AL East lead shrink



Rayschoice_2 NEW YORK (AP) -- Derek Jeter collected three hits for the third straight game, Alex Rodriguez belted a grand slam and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 Sunday to win the weekend series against the AL East leaders.

Mariano Rivera entered with two on in the ninth and struck out Willy Aybar for his 35th save in 36 opportunities. The All-Star closer also moved into a tie with Lee Smith for second on the career list with 478 saves.

Fernando Perez hit a three-run drive for Tampa Bay, which has a two-game division lead over Boston. It was Perez's first career homer.

The Rays host the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series Monday night.

(Pictured - New York's Robinson Cano, right, tags out Cliff Floyd on a second-inning fielder's choice. AP photo. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:39am]


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