NEW YORK — Luis Severino cruised through his final postseason tuneup and Starlin Castro, Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks all homered during a four-run sixth inning, lifting the New York Yankees over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 on Wednesday night.
New York (89-69) improved to a season-high 20 games over .500 and remained three games behind division-leading Boston with four to play. The Yankees would host the AL wild-card game if they don’t win the division. Severino (14-6) is lined up to start the playoff opener.
Tampa Bay (76-82) was ensured its fourth straight losing season.
Castro crushed a solo shot off the back wall in the Rays’ bullpen to lead off the sixth, chasing starter Matt Andriese (5-5) and giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead with his 16th homer and second in two games.
Bird then homered off reliever Xavier Cedeno, giving New York its tenth set of back-to-back homers.