ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Baseball’s best record in hand, the Tampa Bay Rays are looking forward to their next challenge.

The AL East leaders begin a two-game series tonight at Yankee Stadium, where they’re likely to field plenty of questions about whether their franchise-best 28-11 start is for real.

New York entered play Tuesday with the second-best mark in the majors, and the defending World Series champions won two of three between the division rivals the opening week of the season at Tropicana Field.

“It’s going to be fun going up there, as it should be,” Manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday, when Evan Longoria drove in three runs and David Price became the AL’s first six-game winner with a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Longoria, who has 21 RBI in his past 19 games, had a run-scoring double off David Huff (1-6) in the third and a two-run triple off Hector Ambriz that was the biggest blow in a four-run sixth.

Price (6-1) won his fourth straight decision, lowering his ERA to 1.81 and improving to 9-1 over his last 12 starts dating to last season.

 

RANGERS 8, ANGELS 7: Michael Young had three hits and drove in three runs, including the tie-breaking RBI single, as Texas won at home.

 

ORIOLES 4, ROYALS 3: Nick Markakis singled in the winning run in the 10th inning, giving Baltimore a comeback win over visiting Kansas City.

 

WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 2: Juan Pierre’s two-run double and run-saving catch in the fourth inning helped Chicago win at Detroit.

 

BLUE JAYS 11, TWINS 2: Edwin Encarnacion came off the disabled list and hit one of Toronto’s four home runs, and the Blue Jays backed Shaun Marcum in a romp over visiting Minnesota.

Vernon Wells, Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay also homered.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

MARLINS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 0: Brian Barden drove in two runs while replacing benched star Hanley Ramirez, helping ace Josh Johnson and Florida win at home.

 

CUBS 6, ROCKIES 2: Carlos Silva pitched six strong innings to remain unbeaten and Chicago overcame Todd Helton’s first home run of the season to win at home.

 

CARDINALS 3, NATIONALS 2: Ryan Ludwick homered to snap an eighth-inning tie as St. Louis won at home.

 

BRAVES 3, METS 2: Pinch-runner Brent Clevlen trotted home with the winning run on a throwing error by third baseman David Wright in the ninth inning as Atlanta beat visiting New York.

 

REDS 5, BREWERS 4: Scott Rolen hit a tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning off fading closer Trevor Hoffman and Joey Votto delivered an RBI single off the wall, rallying Cincinnati over visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

 

PIRATES 2, PHILLIES 1: Zach Duke outdueled Roy Halladay with a strong six innings, and Pittsburgh held on to win at Philadelphia.