ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) --
tied the major league record for leadoff homers in a season as the
New York Yankees
posted a 2-1 win over the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Soriano hit a 1-1 pitch from St. Petersburg native
(3-1) over the left field fence for his 12th leadoff homer of 2003, matching the major league record set by Baltimore's
The Yankees reduced to five their magic number for clinching a sixth straight East Division title.
"I never thought this would happen," Soriano said of tying Anderson's record. "I'm feeling really good. I no longer have any pain in my hands. I can now wait a little bit longer to swing."
Soriano, who hit his 33rd homer of the season, went 2-for-4, giving him 13 hits in his last 24 at-bats. He is 11-for-21 on the Yankees' road trip with four homers and seven RBI.
"Pretty impressive," Yankees manager
said of Soriano. "He had some good swings tonight."
New York made it 2-0 in the second as
walked with two outs and scored on
's double off the top of the left field wall.
That was enough for rookie
(6-2), who allowed an unearned run and just four hits in seven innings with a walk and four strikeouts.
"Tonight, I was able to throw all my pitches on any count," Contreras said through an interpreter. "From my bullpen session two days ago, I knew. I feel comfortable with myself. I can concentrate ever since I returned from AAA."
"He mixed his pitches very well tonight, the best all year," Torre added. "He kept them off the fat part of the bat. The quality of his stuff is not in question. The only thing that can hurt him is his wildness. He is trusting his stuff."
In the fifth, Soriano made a diving stop on
's grounder on the right side, but threw the ball away for an error, allowing Lugo to get an extra base. He scored on groundouts by
After Audrey Huff walked, third baseman Boone may have prevented the tying run from scoring by smothering rookie
's hard grounder behind the bag. LaForest reached on an infield single, but Contreras got
to hit a soft blooper that shortstop
each tossed scoreless innings for the Yankees, who have won 11 of their last 13 decisions. New York played a 1-1 in Baltimore on Thursday that was called after five innings.
Rivera looked overpowering, getting a groundout, a strikeout and a weak line drive. He has converted 14th straight opportunities and has 39 this season.
walked Lugo to start the eighth, Torre went to White. Anderson attempted to bunt, but Boone forced Lugo at second. Baldelli fouled out and Huff flied out to end the inning.
Waechter kept the
in the game, despite allowing eight hits in seven innings.
"I like Waechter," Tampa Bay manager
said. "I like the way he competes."
The Yankees stranded two runners in the fourth and failed to score in the fifth despite collecting three hits in the inning.
was thrown out by right fielder Huff trying to score on
's single. Waechter then struck out
"I'd like to see our offense pick up," Torre said. "We've had trouble scoring runs."