Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Teixeira smacked a two-run homer among his two hits and drove in three as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 9-3, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Kelly Johnson hit a go-ahead solo shot in the sixth against his former team, while Jacoby Ellsbury posted three hits, an RBI, and two runs scored for the Yankees, who rallied from a 3-0 fourth-inning deficit to snap a three-game skid.
Masahiro Tanaka (4-0) settled down to retire 12 of the last 13 batters he faced after surrendering three runs through his first four frames. He allowed eight hits and walked none over seven innings to get the win.
"He's going to give you distance and he's going to keep you in the game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Tanaka.
Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings both cracked solo shots for Tampa Bay, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"If we had just pitched to our normal capabilities, we had a pretty good chance to win that game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The game was tied 3-3 before Johnson launched a lead-off blast into the Yankees bullpen off Josh Lueke (0-2) to put New York in front.
The Yankees added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on a Teixeira RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Alfonso Soriano and added three more in the eighth on Ichiro Suzuki's RBI double and Brett Gardner's two-run single to make it a 9-3 game.
The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead after plating a run in the first, second and fourth innings.
Jennings belted a solo shot into right-center to open the scoring in the first, Ryan Hanigan hit a two-out RBI single in the second and Myers cracked a lead-off homer into right in the fourth.
New York, though, answered with a pair of runs in the home fourth and added another in the fifth to tie it.
Ellsbury singled to begin the fourth and Teixeira pulverized a two-run blast deep into the seats in right to cut the gap to, 3-2, two batters later.
Suzuki doubled and Yangervis Solarte walked before Ellsbury sliced a one-hop double into left-center to bring home Suzuki and knot the contest at, 3-3, in the fifth.