NEW YORK (AP) — CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky start to pitch six innings, Brett Gardner had a pair of tying hits and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Tuesday night to ensure their sixth straight series win.

With their ninth victory in 11 games, the Yankees remained three games behind AL East-leading Boston and opened six-game lead over the Twins for the top AL wild card. At 84-67, the Yankees are 17 games over .500 for the first time since September 2015.

Minnesota, which started the night 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card, has lost four of five.

Pitching on seven days’ rest in a game that started 65 minutes late because of a downpour, Sabathia (12-5) allowed Minnesota to load the bases in his first four pitches. He fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 but hung on and allowed six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He retired 10 in a row during one stretch.

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