Eduardo Nunez's go-ahead RBI triple was part of a four-run top of the seventh inning for New York, and the Yankees downed the Kansas City Royals, 6-2, in the second test of a four-game set.
Derek Jeter smacked a two-run homer in the seventh, while Mark Teixeira added a two-run shot in the first for New York, which snapped a three-game slide.
CC Sabathia (4-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in eight innings.
"It feels good. You know it always feels good to win a game, especially with everything we've been through in the past day," Sabathia said.
Prior to the game, Mariano Rivera, 42, who was carted off the field Thursday after suffering a torn ACL while shagging fly balls during batting practice, made sure to let all Yankees fans know that he was "not going out like this."
"I'm coming back. Write it down in big letters," the all-time major league saves leader said.
Alex Gordon had an RBI double to go with a run scored for the Royals, who had their brief two-game winning streak snapped.
After both clubs plated two runs apiece in the opening frame, Sabathia and Royals starter Bruce Chen (0-4) each held the opposition scoreless over the next five innings before the Yankees exploded in the seventh.
Robinson Cano began the frame with a single to right field and after Andruw Jones lined out and Jayson Nix popped out, Nunez lined a triple into the right-field corner to give New York a 3-2 edge.
Chris Stewart came up next and singled to left field to plate Nunez before Jeter belted a two-run shot into the left-center field seats for a 6-2 Yankees advantage.
"They're very good hitters. Right now Jeter's very hot. I'm not saying he's not a good hitter, but right now he's on fire. He's hitting the ball well. I should have made better pitches," Chen said.
Sabathia worked around a Mike Moustakas leadoff double in the seventh and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth before David Robertson struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the victory.
In the first, Teixeira drilled a two-run homer deep into the seats in left field, giving the Yankees a quick 2-0 advantage.
Kansas City, though, got both runs back in its home half on RBI doubles from Gordon and Jeff Francoeur.
Chen gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings...New York was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five runners on base...Jeter's homer was his fifth of the year, while Teixeira's shot was his fourth.