NEW YORK (AP) -Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have quite a hike if they hope to get back in the AL East race, and they took an important step in the right direction Monday night.
Rodriguez homered for the third straight game and Chien-Ming Wang stymied Boston, sending the Yankees to a 6-2 victory that moved them within 9 1/2 games of the division-leading Red Sox, who still own the best record in the major leagues at 30-14.
Jason Giambi snapped a 1-for-26 slide with an upper-deck homer and leadoff batter Johnny Damon got the Yankees started all game against his former team. New York improved to 2-5 this year against its biggest rival, with both wins coming against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (4-5).
Building on a crisp victory the night before over the Mets that allowed them to avoid a Subway Series sweep, the patient Yankees drew eight walks and ran on Wakefield all night. New York had five two-out RBIs, and the Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Robinson Cano hit a two-run triple and Damon finished with three singles, a walk and two stolen bases.
Wang (3-3) yielded two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings to win his second consecutive start.
David Ortiz drove in both Boston runs.
Indians 5, Mariners 2
CLEVELAND (AP) - Casey Blake homered, Josh Barfield had two RBIs and the Indians remained baseball's best home team.
The game was a makeup of the April 6 home opener at Jacobs Field, which was called after the clubs played 4 2-3 innings in a snowstorm that dumped more than 2 feet on the ballpark and caused the entire four-game series to be postponed.
Blake's fourth homer, a two-out shot off Cha Seung Baek (1-2), snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth.
Cleveland improved to 17-4 at home, with two of those wins coming in Milwaukee when the club had to move a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels under Miller Park's retractable roof in April.
Tom Mastny (3-1) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings to get the win.
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