Brian McCann hit a tiebreaking home run and Adam Warren pitched effectively into the sixth inning as the New York Yankees ended the Tampa Bay Rays' five-game winning streak, 4-1 on Monday night.
Alex Rodriguez went hitless in three at-bats, failing to tie Willie Mays for fourth place on the career homer list at 660. A modest crowd on another chilly night in New York cheered each of A-Rod's at-bats.
Playing third base for the second time this season, Rodriguez popped up to first, grounded to third twice, once with the bases loaded, and was walked intentionally — eliciting boos from Yankees fans — when the count went to 3-0 in the seventh.
The Yankees won their fourth straight over Tampa Bay, moving atop the AL East alone for the first time this year. New York swept a three-game series at Tropicana Field from April 17-19.
Justin Wilson (1-0) pitched an inning for the win, and Andrew Miller earned his eighth save by finishing New York's ninth victory in 11 games.
Evan Longoria's streak of getting a hit in seven straight at-bats ended with a strikeout in the first inning with runners on second and third and one out. The Rays had only three more hits against Warren in 5 2-3 innings.
The former reliever struck out six and walked none in his best outing. His wild pitch in the sixth helped Tampa Bay tie the score, though.
Many Rays were wearing sweat shirts in the dugout and long sleeves under their uniforms in their first game played without the cover of a roof. Tampa Bay had played 12 games in its domed stadium and two series at ballparks with a retractable roof (Toronto and Miami) that was closed.
The Yankees took advantage of Nathan Karns' sudden loss of control in the fifth to load the bases on two walks and an infield single. Brandon Gomes (0-1) relieved and walked Brett Gardner to give New York the lead.
Gomes gave up McCann's second homer of the season in the sixth. Stephen Drew followed a double by slumping Carlos Beltran with an RBI double off Everett Teaford for a 3-1 advantage. Jacoby Ellsbury was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Karns yielded a run and three hits in 4 2-3 innings. He struck out five.
Rays: OF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup for a second straight day because of left knee soreness. He said this is not an injury that would require a stint on the disabled list. Manager Kevin Cash said the Rays were being overly cautious. ... Cash said Alex Colome (pneumonia) should return this weekend.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery) threw one inning of a simulated game and said he could pitch for the first time since reconstructive elbow surgery a year ago in an extended spring training game Saturday. "I'm happy with the progress I'm making," Nova said. "Every pitch was right where I wanted it."
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. He has pitched into the seventh inning in all four previous outings. He lost to New York at home a week ago despite striking out nine.
Yankees: RHP Chase Whitley will be called up from Triple-A to make a spot start, giving Masahiro Tanaka five days of rest before his next outing Wednesday. Whitley is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.