Sanchez hits 17th homer in 42 games, Yankees beat Rays 5-3

Tampa Bay Rays hat

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Rookie slugger Gary Sanchez hit his 17th homer in 42 games this season, a three-run shot in a four-run seventh inning that sent the New York Yankees past the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Tuesday night.

The banged-up Yankees began play 4 1/2 games behind Baltimore and Toronto for the two AL wild cards. New York would also have to jump over Seattle, Houston and Detroit to earn a postseason berth.

Sanchez gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead with his drive off Brad Boxberger (4-3). It was the young catcher’s sixth home run in 11 games following a 10-game drought.

Mark Teixeira hit a solo shot in the fourth for New York, which was swept in a four-game series at Boston last weekend and had lost seven of eight overall.

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