ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Rookie Gary Sanchez hit two more homers and drove in five runs, Masahiro Tanaka won despite allowing four home runs in the same inning and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-5 on Wednesday night.
The Yankees moved within 2 1/2 games of Baltimore for the second AL wild-card spot. New York also would have to jump over Seattle, Houston and Detroit to earn a postseason berth.
Sanchez hit a three-run shot in a four-run second off Alex Cobb (1-1) and added his 19th homer in 43 games this season on a solo drive in the sixth against Justin Marks.
Including two games last season, Sanchez became the first player in major league history to hit 19 homers in his first 45 games. Wally Berger, with the Boston Braves in 1930, went deep 19 times in his first 51 games.
Tanaka (14-4) won his seventh straight decision.
Bobby Wilson, Evan Longoria, Brad Miller and Corey Dickerson all homered in the Rays third. Miller later hit another solo shot to give him 30 homers this season.