Alex Rodriguez hit his 42d home run and Robinson Cano erased a four-run deficit with a grand slam, helping Aaron Small and the New York Yankees rally to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 9-5, last night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The win, coupled with the Red Sox' 6-2 loss to Oakland, pulled the Yankees to within 1 1/2 games of East Division-leading Boston.
Cano and Rodriguez homered off Seth McClung (6-10) in the sixth inning. Cano's drive into the right-field stands wiped out a 5-1 deficit, and Rodriguez followed with a two-run shot in his first at-bat after the Devil Rays' starter hit him in the back with a pitch in the fifth.
Cano added an RBI triple in the ninth to give him a career-high five RBIs and Bubba Crosby had a career-high three hits and two RBIs.
Small allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 6-0 in seven starts as a fill-in in a rotation decimated by injuries.
Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer off one of the catwalks that support the roof at Tropicana Field to put the Devil Rays ahead, 5-1, in the fifth. Toby Hall drove in the first two runs off Small with a second-inning double.
Alan Embree replaced Small after Julio Lugo tripled with two outs in the seventh. Tom Gordon got the first two outs in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his 39th save.
Tigers 8, Angels 6 -- Curtis Granderson gave Detroit the lead with a three-run, inside-the-park homer and Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe also homered for the Tigers' in their win over slumping host Los Angeles.
The Angels lost their fourth in a row, dropping them into a first-place tie in the West Division with Oakland, which beat Boston.
Mike Maroth (13-13) got the victory, allowing six runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out two, and walking two. Craig Dingman pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
The Tigers scored all their runs with two outs against Bartolo Colon (19-7), who won his previous eight decisions and was trying to become the Angels' first 20-game winner since Nolan Ryan won 22 in 1974.
Royals 7, White Sox 5 -- John Buck hit a two-run double to key a four-run seventh and host Kansas City beat Chicago.
The White Sox have lost six of seven, including back-to-back setbacks against a Kansas City team that has the worst record in the majors. Their lead over Cleveland in the Central that stood at 9 1/2 games Sept. 7 has shrunk to 4 1/2.
Rangers 4, Mariners 3 -- Michael Young reached 200 hits for the third straight season and Gary Matthews Jr. had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to lead Texas over Seattle at Arlington, Texas.