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Granderson Homers Push Yankees Past Rays

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Curtis Granderson belted a pair of homers, including a three-run blast in the sixth inning, as the New York Yankees held off Tampa Bay, 8-6, to open a key four-game series between the AL East rivals.

Granderson smacked a two-run shot in the third inning and added his 21st of the year in the sixth, as the Yankees widened their lead to 1 1/2 games in the division. Francisco Cervelli ended with three hits and scored three times.

Ivan Nova gave up three hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings in the start for the Yankees. Chad Gaudin (1-4) recorded the final out in the top of the sixth to get the win, New York’s third in four games.

Matt Garza (14-9) surrendered eight hits and seven runs — five earned — over five-plus innings to lose his second straight decision. He’s allowed 26 hits and 17 earned runs over his last three outings.

Evan Longoria singled in a run off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the top of the ninth, and Dan Johnson was hit by a pitch. Matt Joyce grounded out to first base, as Rivera held on for his 32nd save.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.