6 - 2 Final
  for this game

Rodriguez powers Yankees past Rays

May 18, 2011 - 5:16 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez belted two solo homers and the New York Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over Tampa Bay in the finale of a two-game series.

Brett Gardner had three hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Yankees, who banged out 12 hits to end their season-long skid.

Ivan Nova (4-3) picked up the win, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings. He was pulled after loading the bases in the sixth and four New York relievers closed the game out.

"Nova had a really good hook (curveball)," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "He kept us off-balance with that."

Tampa starter James Shields (4-2) had his four-decision winning streak halted after giving up four runs -- three earned -- in seven innings. He allowed eight hits and a walk, but struck out nine.

Former Yankee Johnny Damon had three hits for the Rays, who fell to 8-4 in their last 12 games. Their lead in the AL East was cut to two games over the Yankees.

Elliot Johnson gave the Rays a 1-0 lead with his second homer of the season, lining Nova's 3-2 pitch into the right field seats to lead off the third inning.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria sprinted back to make a sliding catch on Mark Teixeira's foul pop-up to lead off the fourth inning, but Rodriguez followed with his first homer of the game, a blast into the seats behind left-center field that tied the game.

His second homer followed the same pattern.

Teixeira was robbed of a base hit in the sixth inning when second baseman Ben Zobrist, playing the shift in right field, dove to his left for a snowcone catch. Two pitches later, Rodriguez hammered a fastball over the wall in centerfield to make it 2-1.

"We had some big hits from Alex early on and we seemed to be able to tack on from some really good at-bats from some guys," said New York manager Joe Girardi.

The Yankees added two more runs in the both the seventh and ninth innings.

In the seventh, embattled designated hitter Jorge Posada doubled with one out, went to third on Brett Gardner's bunt single and was replaced by pinch runner Eduardo Nunez, who scored on Chris Dickerson's base hit to right-center. Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice to score Gardner and make it 4-1.

Russell Martin singled to lead off the ninth, went to second on Eduardo Nunez's sac bunt and scored on Gardner's base hit to center field. Jeter added an RBI single to make it 6-1.

Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach flied out in the ninth inning on a play that was reviewed, and upheld, after the Rays argued the ball hit the catwalk inside Tropicana Field and should be a home run.

Ben Zobrist hit an RBI ground-rule double off Amauri Sanit for Tampa's final run, and closer Mariano Rivera came in to get Damon on a ground ball to end the game.

Game Notes

The Yankees go to Baltimore for two games against the Orioles before starting interleague play against the New York-rival Mets this weekend...The Rays play two games in Toronto, then start interleague play at the Florida Marlins...Shields hadn't lost since his first start of the season on April 2.