Severino, trio of homers lift Yankees over Rays 6-1

Tampa Bay Rays' Adeiny Hechavarria hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) – Luis Severino cruised through his final postseason tuneup and Starlin Castro, Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks all homered during a four-run sixth inning, lifting the New York Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Wednesday night.

New York (89-69) improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 and remained three games behind division-leading Boston with four to play. The Yankees would host the AL wild-card game if they don’t win the division. Severino (14-6) is lined up to start the playoff opener.

Tampa Bay (76-82) was ensured its fourth straight losing season.

Castro crushed a solo shot off the back wall in the Rays’ bullpen to lead off the sixth, chasing starter Matt Andriese (5-5) and giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead with his 16th homer and second in two games.

Bird then homered off reliever Xavier Cedeno, giving New York its tenth set of back-to-back homers.

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