NEW YORK — 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.
MINNEAPOLIS — 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.
CLEVELAND — 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.
ARLINGTON, Texas — 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.
TORONTO — 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.