NEW YORK (AP) - David Price earned his league-leading 18th win with another superb performance against the New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Rays opened a key series against their AL East rival Friday night by taking advantage of a fading CC Sabathia and hanging on for a 6-4 victory.
The Rays began the day four games behind division co-leaders Baltimore and New York.
Out of the rotation since Sept. 2 because of a sore shoulder, Price (18-5) boosted his AL Cy Young Award credentials with seven innings of two-run ball. Striking out six and giving up five hits, the lanky lefty got a big lift from an inadvertent deflection off an umpire and a fine play by second baseman Elliot Johnson.
Price improved to 7-3 against the Yankees. The Rays have won seven of the eight games he has matched up against Sabathia.
With Price out of the game, Alex Rodriguez hit his 647th homer, a two-run shot off Joel Peralta in the eighth that sent him past Lou Gehrig for ninth place on the runs list with 1,889.
Derek Jeter, serving as the designated hitter for a second straight day because of an injured ankle, singled leading off the inning to wake up the fans silenced by Tampa Bay's rally against Sabathia (13-6). Jeter had an infield single in the fifth to pass Willie Mays for 10th on the hits list with 3,284.
After a walk to Robinson Cano, closer Fernando Rodney entered. The top reliever by ERA in the majors (0.68) struck out Russell Martin, threw a wild pitch and walked pinch hitter Raul Ibanez. Curtis Granderson meekly grounded to end the threat. Rodney finished with a perfect ninth for his 43rd save in 45 chances.
ATHLETICS 3, ORIOLES 2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer while playing with a sore right wrist, and the AL wild card-leading Athletics beat Baltimore to prevent the Orioles from moving into sole possession of first place in the AL East.
Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth to back A's rookie Tommy Milone (13-10) in the opener of a key series between playoff contenders. Oakland (83-61) received a clubhouse visit before the game from pitcher Brandon McCarthy, more than a week after he was struck in the head with a line drive and underwent surgery.
The Orioles (81-63) remained tied atop the division with the New York Yankees, who lost 6-4 at home to Tampa Bay.
WHITE SOX 6, TWINS 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Chris Sale threw six scoreless innings for his 17th victory after being rained out the night before, helping Chicago keep its one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central.
Sale (17-6) scattered three singles and struck out five without a walk, cruising to his third win in three starts against Minnesota this year.
Sale was supposed to pitch Thursday night against Detroit, but that game was postponed until Monday.
Dayan Viciedo had two RBIs, Kevin Youkilis homered and Alex Rios doubled, scored and drove in a run for the White Sox, who played without injured slugger Adam Dunn for the seventh straight game.
Esmerling Vasquez (0-2) was the loser.
TIGERS 4, INDIANS 0
CLEVELAND (AP) - Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings and made sure Detroit stayed in step with first-place Chicago in the AL Central, leading the Tigers past Cleveland.
Coming through the way he almost always does, Verlander (14-8) allowed six hits. He escaped jams in the fifth and sixth innings with help from Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, big men best known for their powerful bats, who made stellar defensive plays.
Detroit took a 4-0 lead after two innings against Corey Kluber (1-4)
The Indians, who were within 3 1/2 games of first place when they rallied to beat Verlander on July 26, are 16-44 since the All-Star break.
RANGERS 9, MARINERS 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Yu Darvish surpassed 200 strikeouts in his rookie season while getting his 15th victory and Josh Hamilton hit his 42nd home run for AL West-leading Texas.
Darvish (15-9) struck out nine in seven innings, often complementing his mid-90s fastball with a breaking pitch about 30 mph slower.
Ian Kinsler hit his sixth leadoff homer this year for Texas, a ball initially ruled a double before umpires looked at the replay and correctly reversed that call.
There was no question about Hamilton's long drive in the third off Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5), like Darvish a former Pacific League MVP in Japan and now a rookie in the major leagues.
RED SOX 8, BLUE JAYS 5
TORONTO (AP) - Mauro Gomez hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth inning and Boston beat Toronto, snapping a six-game losing streak against the Blue Jays.
Boston had lost six of seven overall coming in, but bounced back after falling behind 3-0 and later blowing a 5-3 lead. Ryan Lavarnway hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs for the Red Sox. Daniel Nava had a two-run single and made a fantastic diving catch in left field in the eighth to preserve a 5-all tie.
Chris Carpenter (1-0) got two outs for his first major league victory and Andrew Bailey closed it out for his third save in four chances. Darren Oliver (3-3) was the loser.
ANGELS 9, ROYALS 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Pinch hitter Kendrys Morales had two-run homer during an eighth-inning rally that sent Los Angeles past Kansas City.
Several hours before the game, a man shot and wounded a female parking lot employee between the stadiums that are home to the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals before killing himself, police said.
Morales homered on the first pitch from Tim Collins (5-3) with Mark Trumbo aboard to make it 7-all. Collins threw 11 pitches, faced four batters and retired none, allowing two singles and hitting Albert Pujols on an 0-2 count. Jeremy Jeffress replaced Collins and walked Torii Hunter on five pitches with the bases loaded to force home Mike Trout with the go-ahead run. Hunter is hitting .431 with 15 RBIs in his past 16 games.
Jordan Walden (3-2), the fourth of six Angels pitchers, picked up the victory, although he threw only two pitches. Ernesto Frieri got his 19th save in 21 opportunities.
Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur homered for Kansas City.