BOSTON (AP) -Alex Rodriguez capped a six-run eighth inning with a tiebreaking single off Jonathan Papelbon, and New York overcame a five-run deficit to beat Boston 8-7 on Friday night in the second-longest nine-inning game ever.
Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano started the comeback with home runs off Hideki Okajima. Derek Jeter had an RBI single against Papelbon and Bobby Abreu tied it with a two-run double.
The 4-hour, 43-minute marathon was two minutes shy of the record set by the Yankees and Red Sox on Aug. 18 last year.
New York closed within 4 1/2 games of AL East-leading Boston and the Yankees remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Detroit in the wild-card race.
By winning the opener of the three-game series, the Yankees cut Boston's lead to its smallest since after games of Aug. 19.
Johnny Damon of the Yankees went 4-for-6 against his former team. Brian Bruney (3-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings in relief for the win, and Mariano Rivera pitched a one-hit ninth for his 27th save.
Papelbon (1-3) blew a save for the third time in 38 opportunities.
Okajima entered with a 7-2 lead but allowed Giambi's 14th homer and Cano's 17th. Papelbon hadn't allowed a run in 16 2-3 innings.
Boston scored three runs in the fourth on Dustin Pedroia's two-run single and Mike Lowell's RBI single to take a 5-1 lead.
Tigers 4, Twins 2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Timo Perez drove in three runs and Nate Robertson won for the first time in six starts as Detroit started a crucial road trip with a victory.
The Tigers won for the eighth time in 11 games and stayed within 5 1/2 games of first-place Cleveland in the AL Central. After playing the Twins two more times, Detroit has three games with the Indians next week.
The Tigers remained 3 1/2 games behind New York in the wild-card race.
Robertson (8-11) surrendered five hits, three walks and two runs while striking out five in seven innings. Todd Jones pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.
Matt Garza fell to 0-10 in 11 career starts at the Metrodome, and the Twins lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games. Justin Morneau hit his 30th homer after going deep just once in his previous 47 games.
Garza (3-6) gave up four hits and four walks while striking out two and was charged with all four runs.
Indians 5, Royals 4
CLEVELAND (AP) - Casey Blake homered on David Riske's first pitch in the ninth inning to rally Cleveland and move the Indians closer to an AL Central title.
Blake hadn't homered in 144 at-bats since Aug. 1. His homer helped Cleveland lower its magic number for clinching the division to 10.
Riske (1-4) also gave up Victor Martinez's leadoff homer in the eighth that tied it 4-4.
Joe Borowski (4-5) pitched a scoreless ninth for Cleveland, which remained 5 1/2 games in front of Detroit.
Royals rookie Brian Bannister held the Indians to two first-inning singles in six innings and outperformed Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia, who struck out a career-high 13. The Royals rallied for four runs with two outs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead.
Trailing 4-1, the Indians closed within a run in the seventh on Franklin Gutierrez's two-run homer off reliever Joel Peralta.
Orioles 6, Blue Jays 2
TORONTO (AP) - Baltimore's Brian Burres pitched seven shutout innings to win for the first time since July 28.
Brian Roberts homered for the Orioles, who won back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 14-15, and came within three outs of recording consecutive shutouts for the first time this season.
The loss, Toronto's sixth in seven games, eliminated the Blue Jays from contention in the AL East.
Burres (6-5) scattered eight hits, walked none and struck out four. The left-hander made 12 relief appearances since his last start on Aug. 4, allowing 23 runs in 18 innings.
Jamie Walker closed it out in the ninth despite giving up solo homers to Aaron Hill and Hector Luna.
Jesse Litsch (5-9) lasted just three innings, his shortest outing since pitching 2-3 of an inning against New York on May 30. He allowed four runs and seven hits.
White Sox 5, Angels 3
CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago's Jose Contreras allowed three runs and 11 hits over 7 1-3 innings for his third straight win after after losing nine consecutive decisions as a starter.
Jim Thome, who entered the game with 499 homers, went 0-for-4.
Bartolo Colon (6-7), sidelined about seven weeks with an irritated right elbow, lasted 4 2-3 innings in his first start for Los Angeles since July 23. He allowed five runs - three earned - and eight hits.
Maicer Izturis' RBI single put the Angels ahead in the first, but the White Sox took a 4-1 lead in the third.
Juan Uribe chased Colon with a run-scoring single in the fifth.
Bobby Jenks worked the ninth for his 38th save in 44 chances.
Mariners 2, Devil Rays 1
SEATTLE (AP) - Jose Guillen's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning gave Seattle its third straight win.
Ichiro Suzuki led off the ninth with a single off Gary Glover (5-5). He went to third on a single by Adrian Beltre. After an infield single by Raul Ibanez, Guillen flied to deep right.
J.J. Putz (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth inning for his second win in three games.
Seattle has won three straight games in its final plate appearance after dropping 15 of its previous 17. The Mariners are 5 1/2 games behind the wild card-leading Yankees.
Jorge Velandia tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single off starter Felix Hernandez, who allowed six hits and struck out eight.

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