NEW YORK — David Price ended a five-start winless streak, Evan Longoria hit two home runs and the Tampa Bay Rays won their sixth in a row, beating the New York Yankees 8-3 Wednesday night to move closer to clinching an AL wild-card berth.
Nearing their fourth postseason appearance in six years, the Rays would seal it with a combination of Tampa Bay wins or Texas losses totaling three.
New York was mathematically eliminated during the eighth inning when Cleveland won its game against the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and only the second time in 19 years.
Price (9-8), the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, had been 0-3 since beating the Yankees on Aug. 24 – a winless skid one short of his career high. Backed by an offense that produced 15 hits, he gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked none.
Longoria's three-run homer off David Huff gave Tampa Bay a 6-2 lead in the sixth, and David DeJesus hit his second of the season on the next pitch.
DeJesus also had a tiebreaking single in a two-run third and has eight RBIs in his last seven games after driving in just two in his previous 42. Longoria finished with four RBIs, homering in the ninth off Preston Claiborne for his 31st of the season and ninth in 18 games this year against the Yankees.
Phil Hughes (4-14) allowed three runs and seven hits in two innings-plus in what likely was his final start with the Yankees. A key part of the Yankees' 2009 title team as a reliever, he went 0-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 13 starts since beating Minnesota on July 2. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
A night after taking the lead on Hiroki Kuroda's third pitch of the game, Tampa Bay went ahead when James Loney hit an RBI double on Hughes' sixth pitch.
Robinson Cano doubled in a run in the bottom half, but the Rays took a 3-1 lead in the third on DeJesus' single and Matt Joyce's sacrifice fly. Eduardo Nunez homered leading off the third.
NOTES: The Yankees put LHP CC Sabathia on the 15-day DL retroactive to Saturday and activated DH Travis Hafner, who had been sidelined since late July with a rotator cuff strain. ... In a home plate presentation by Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte was given a framed base from his final Yankee Stadium start Sunday, signed by the team.