Yankees beat Devil Rays, inch closer to division title

Updated: September 14, 2006, 10:20 PM ET
SportsTicker

BRONX, New York -- With the way Robinson Cano has performed, it might not be long before he hears the same type of chants as Derek Jeter.

Cano drove in three runs, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the New York Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with a come-from-behind 7-4 victory.

Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 23 games for the Yankees (89-56), who reduced their magic number to clinch the American League East to six.

New York rallied from a 4-1 deficit, which Tampa Bay's Rocco Baldelli had created with a pair of home runs. But after Baldelli homered in the fifth, Cano came through in the bottom half with a double over left fielder Carl Crawford's head that scored Jeter and Aaron Guiel, tying the game at 4-4.

In the seventh, Cano came through again. After rookie Kevin Thompson and Bernie Williams singled off Ruddy Lugo (2-3), Shawn Camp struck out Jeter.

But Camp was not as fortunate against Cano. After falling behind, 0-2, Cano slapped a double that was just out of the reach of shortstop Ben Zobrist, scoring Thompson.

Cano's hit triggered a three-run rally that helped the Yankees to their sixth straight win. Following his double, Alex Rodriguez lined a two-run single to right.

Cano finished the game 2-for-4 and since returning from the hamstring injury that sidelined him for over a month, is hitting .378 (56-for-144). The second-year second baseman also has 40 RBIs in those 36 games.

Jeter had a first-inning single and added an RBIs base hit in the fifth, prompting more "MVP" chants from fans at Yankee Stadium.

It is the longest hitting streak of his career and longest by a Yankee since current hitting coach Don Mattingly hit in 24 straight games in 1986.

Darrell Rasner (2-0), who struck out five in three scoreless frames, got the win for New York.

Rasner came on after rookie Jeff Karstens went the first five and allowed four runs and six hits. Karstens' had his scheduled start moved up a day because the Yankees did not want to take a chance with Chien Ming-Wang pitching through a possible rain delay.

Kyle Farnsworth tossed a perfect ninth for his fifth save in nine opportunities.

Tampa Bay's James Shields also pitched five innings, allowing four runs and six hits. But as he began warming up in the sixth inning, he experienced cramps in his right hamstring.

Baldelli had three hits. He tripled and scored on rookie Delmon Young's groundout in the first and homered in the third and fifth off Karstens for his first career multi-homer game.

Hideki Matsui homered in the second.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index