ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Six straight wins. A club-record eleven in a row at home. First place in the AL East.
The Tampa Bay Rays realize it's only mid-May, but they're enjoying their best start.
"I've been around a long time. It's early, but I love the way we're doing it by not giving in to anyone," veteran closer Troy Percival said Tuesday night after Gabe Gross singled with no outs in the 11th inning, driving in the first run Mariano Rivera has allowed all season in a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Moving half a game ahead of Boston in the AL East, Tampa Bay sits alone atop the division for the first time beyond the first week of a season.
Cliff Floyd began the 11th with a single and pinch-runner Jonny Gomes stole second before Gross delivered the winner up the middle on a 1-1 pitch. Rivera (0-1) had not allowed a run in 14 previous appearances.
J.P. Howell (3-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win, the Rays' 15th in their last 20 games. Tampa Bay also matched its longest winning streak of the season at six games.