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Yankees retake 1st place in AL East

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Russell Martin homered and drove in three runs, and the New York Yankees regained sole possession of first place in the AL East with a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.

Second baseman Eliot Johnson's errant throw to home plate that led to two runs in the seventh inning helped the Yankees win for the fifth time in 15 games.

New York sat atop the division standings by itself for 84 consecutive days — its longest streak since 2004 — until Tuesday night's loss to Tampa Bay dropped the Yankees into a tie with Baltimore. They moved back into first place when the Orioles lost to Toronto.

New York, which held a team meeting before the game, leads the third-place Rays by 2 1/2 games.

With the score tied at 4, Andruw Jones and Steve Pearce singled to start the seventh off Matt Moore (10-9) before Jayson Nix moved the runners up with a bunt. Derek Jeter, who had hits in his previous three at-bats, hit a grounder to Johnson. With the infield playing in, his throw was off the mark, allowing the Yankees to take a 6-4 lead.

Mariners 2, Red Sox 1 Kevin Millwood pitched six stingy innings to win for the first time in 5 1/2 weeks and Seattle handed the staggering Boston Red Sox their eighth defeat in nine games.

Dustin Ackley hit a two-run single in the fourth to back Millwood (5-12), who allowed four hits and one run in his first victory since July 28. The right-hander had gone 1-8 since May 21.

Tom Wilhelmsen worked the ninth for his 24th save in 27 opportunities as the last-place Mariners (67-71) won for the 11th time in 14 home games and matched their win total from last season with 24 games remaining.

Aaron Cook (3-9) went six innings for Boston, giving up seven hits. He is 1-8 since tossing a two-hit shutout against Seattle on June 29

Phillies 6, Reds 2 Erik Kratz hit a three-run home run, Chase Utley added a two-run shot, and Roy Halladay stayed perfect when given a big lead as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 on Wednesday.

Halladay, 4-1 in his last six starts, is 110-0 when he is staked to a lead of at least four runs. Halladay (9-7) scattered eight hits over 7 1-3 innings, allowing one run with five strikeouts and one walk. Philadelphia won two of three in the series against the NL Central leaders.

All-Star first baseman Joey Votto returned to the Reds lineup for the first time since July 15 and lined the third pitch he saw in 52 days to left field for a single with two outs in the first inning. The Reds went 32-16 while Votto was out due with a knee injury.

Jay Bruce homered for the fourth consecutive game, but it wasn't enough to rally the Reds. Cincinnati lost a series for just the third time in 16 matchups since the All-Star break (11-3-2).

Mets 6, Cardinals 2 R.A. Dickey became the first pitcher in the majors to win 18 games this season, and Ike Davis hit a three-run homer to lift the New York Mets over St. Louis.

The knuckleballer allowed two runs in 6-2/3 innings en route to his 18th win, the first Mets pitcher to reach the mark since Frank Viola (20-12) and Dwight Gooden (19-7) both did it in 1990. Dickey (18-4) gave up eight hits and struck out five to help New York salvage a win to close out the three-game series.

Davis gave the Mets a 5-1 lead with his 26th homer, and Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 to lift his average in day games to an NL-best .351 (65 for 185). Josh Thole and Andres Torres had RBI singles, and Lucas Duda drove in the Mets' other run with a bases-loaded walk.

The Mets did most of their damage off of Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (13-12), who allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings.

Other games on Wednesday:

Nationals 9, Cubs 1

Braves 1, Rockies 0

Pirates 6, Astros 3

Brewers 8, Marlins 5

White Sox 6, Twins 2

Tigers 7, Indians 1

Angels 7, Athletics 1

Blue Jays 6, Orioles 4

Rangers 7, Royals 6

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Boston Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, right, stretches to tag out Seattle Mariners' Jesus Montero during the second inning of a baseball game in Seattle on Wednesday, Sept. 5. (AP)

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