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Deep into the night: Yankees wait out rain, top O's

New York lived up to its "City That Never Sleeps" game set four hours after the scheduled first pitch.

When the rain-delayed affair was over -- at roughly 2:20 a.m. (et) -- it was the AL East-leading Yankees coming away with the 5-3 victory thanks to home runs by Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner.

Boone Logan gave up the tying run in the seventh but back-to-back shots by Cervelli and Gardner off Tommy Hunter (3-3) in the bottom half gave the Yankees their sixth straight win, keeping them 2 1/2 games up on second-place Boston.

Hunter gave up five runs -- four earned -- on five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings for the Orioles, who got a two-run homer from Matt Wieters but nonetheless dropped their fourth straight game.

The lengthy four-hour, three-minute delay added to a busy week for the Yankees, who finish this three-game series Wednesday afternoon before heading to Baltimore for a makeup game, then traveling to Anaheim to face the Angels for three games over the weekend.

"It was a long day. I'm proud of what our guys did," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We found a way to get it done. It was outstanding."

Phil Hughes, in perhaps his final start as the Yankees opt for a five-man rotation going forward, was charged with two runs on five hits over six innings.

Posada hit a solo blast in the third, somehow finding the glove of one of the few fans remaining in right field. Rain was persistent throughout the game, and spectators were few and far between.

Posada scored again in the fifth, racing around from first when Cervelli's wind-altered fly ball to left was dropped by Matt Angle.

Wieters tied things in the sixth with his 17th home run of the year, while Mark Teixeira and Nick Markakis traded run-scoring hits leading up to the deciding seventh.

The inning didn't start the way New York wanted, as Eric Chavez flied out and Posada was tagged out after making too wide a turn at first base following a Hunter throwing error.

But the hosts appeared to catch a break when Cervelli drove one deep to left field. A pair of fans sitting in the front row reached out for the souvenir, but dropped the ball back into the field of play. The umpires, after using replay to determine if the fans interfered with the ball in play, awarded Cervelli a home run, confirming the call on the field.

Gardner followed with a line drive off the right-field foul pole for a 5-3 cushion, and Mariano Rivera anchored the bullpen with a scoreless ninth to record his 39th save of the season.

Cory Wade (4-0) stranded Markakis on second in the seventh to earn the win.

Game Notes

The first pitch was recorded at 11:08 p.m. (et)...Due to the circumstances, the Yankees will awarded fans with a ticket a free Grandstand Level or Terrace Level ticket for a game next season, subject to availability...Rivera is two saves shy of 600 for his career...Gardner's homer was the 200th of the season for New York...The Yankees lead the season series, 13-3.