ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — DJ LeMahieu hit a tie-breaking two-run single and Gary Sanchez had a long three-run homer in the 10th inning, and the AL East-leading New York Yankees overcame a ninth-inning blown save by closer Aroldis Chapman to beat the second-place Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.

Edwin Encarnacion hit his 25th homer for the Yankees, who are 15-2 since June 15 and have a season-high, 7 1/2-game lead over the Rays.

Tampa Bay, which led the division as late as games through June 14, is 2-8 against the Yankees this season.

Gio Urshela started the 10th drawing a walk off Oliver Drake (0-1) and went to second when pinch-hitter Aaron Judge walked on a 10-pitch plate appearance.

After the Yankees loaded the bases on Brett Gardner’s bunt single, LeMahieu greeted Emilio Pagan with a ground single to left through a drawn-in infield.

LeMahieu is 9 for 11 with 20 RBI with the bases loaded.

Sanchez hit 24th homer off Pagan, a drive into the second deck in the left field.

Travis d’Arnaud had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th off Luis Cessa, who was pulled with two outs and the bases loaded. David Hale got his second save by getting a grounder from Yandy Diaz.

The Rays rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth to tie it at 3 against Chapman (2-1), who opened the ninth by walking Nate Lowe on four pitches.

Lowe scored on Joey Wendle’s one-out double. Wendle then came home on a pair of wild pitches by Chapman. Tampa Bay then loaded the bases before Chapman struck out Austin Meadows to end the ninth.

It was Chapman’s third blown save in 26 save opportunities.

Encarnacion made it 3-1 on his solo shot in the seventh off Yonny Chirinos, who allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings.

ATHLETICS 7, TWINS 2: Marcus Semien hit a grand slam in the eighth after his tying solo homer leading off the fifth, Chris Herrmann had a career-high four hits, and Oakland beat visiting Minnesota.

Semien sent the first pitch from Mike Morin over the wall in left-center for his 13th homer of the year and fourth career grand slam. He matched his career high with five RBI, also done last year, while notching his fifth two-homer game and second this season.

INDIANS 8, ROYALS 4: Francisco Lindor drove in three runs, Jose Ramirez homered twice and visiting Cleveland rallied to beat Kansas City  to complete a three-game sweep.

Tyler Naquin and Jason Kipnis also drove in runs for the suddenly streaking Indians, who beat the Royals – losers of four straight and 7 of 8 – for the fifth time in six meetings.

TIGERS 11, WHITE SOX 5: Niko Goodrum lined a two-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, Matthew Boyd struck out 13 to tie a career high and Detroit won at the Chicago.

Miguel Cabrera added a 454-foot solo shot and doubled, and Jeimer Candelario also homered. John Hicks and Nicholas Castellanos each had two RBI as Detroit rebounded after being swept in doubleheader on Wednesday to win for just the second time in its last 13 games.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CUBS 11, PIRATES 3: Kris Bryant hit his 17th homer and visiting Chicago erupted following Manager Joe Maddon’s fourth-inning ejection to stop a four-game losing streak.

Bryant tied a season high with four hits, including a first-inning shot to the seats in right-center off Jordan Lyles (5-5). Robel Garcia finished a double short of the cycle in his first major league start. Willson Contreras drove in three runs for the Cubs.

Maddon watched the final 5 1/2 innings from the Chicago clubhouse after getting tossed following an exchange with the Pittsburgh dugout that ended with Maddon being restrained by home plate umpire Joe West.

Maddon appeared to take exception with Lyles pitching up and in to All-Star Javier Baez. He walked onto the field pointing his finger at Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle. West and Bryant teamed up to hold Maddon back while Hurdle watched from just outside the Pittsburgh dugout.

REDS 1, BREWERS 0: Luis Castillo struck out nine in pitching one-hit ball into the eighth inning, and Cincinnati won at home.

Cincinnati won for the fourth time in five games. Jesse Winker went 3 for 3 and scored the only run on Yasiel Puig’s first-inning single.

Castillo was winless in three previous starts against Milwaukee this year, but the All-Star right-hander was terrific this time around. He was working on a no-hitter before rookie Keston Hiura singled with one out in the seventh.

NATIONALS 5, MARLINS 2: Anthony Rendon hit his 20th homer and knocked in the go-ahead run to help host Washington finish off a three-game sweep of last-place Miami.

Washington has won 8 of 9 and 13 of 16 to climb to a season-best four games over .500.

INTERLEAGUE

CARDINALS 5, MARINERS 4:  Matt Wieters and Dexter Fowler homered, Tommy Edman came through with another key hit, and St. Louis rallied to win at Seattle.

Wieters hit a solo shot in the third inning and Fowler added a two-run drive in the fourth. Daniel Ponce de Leon got his first major league win, and Carlos Martinez worked the ninth for his third save.

NOTES

TIGERS: The Detroit Tigers placed outfielder JaCoby Jones on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain and recalled outfielder Victor Reyes from Triple-A Toledo.

PHILLIES: The Philadelphia Phillies placed reliever Juan Nicasio on the 10-day injured list with a strained left groin.

ALL-STAR GAME: Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe was placed on the 10-day injured list with a bruised right shin and will not play in next week’s All-Star Game.

Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was named to replace Lowe, who was added to the AL All-Star team Wednesday.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.