ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Prized rookie Luis Severino rebounded from his worst start, Greg Bird homered and drove in two runs, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Wednesday night to keep pace in the AL playoff race.
The second-place Yankees, who lead the wild-card chase, took two of three from Tampa Bay and stayed three games behind Toronto in the AL East. Severino (4-3) allowed one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander gave up a career-high six earned runs over 2 1-3 innings in an 11-5 loss Friday to Toronto.
After Bird had a second-inning RBI double, Chase Headley put the Yankees up 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the sixth. Bird, also a rookie, made it 3-1 on his ninth-inning shot.
Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, who pitched the ninth for his 34th save, combined for 3 1-3 scoreless innings for New York.
Chris Archer (12-12) gave up two runs, four hits, four walks and struck out seven over six innings for the Rays. His fourth strikeout of the game, coming against Brett Gardner in the third, broke Scott Kazmir's single-season club mark of 239 set in 2007.
Steven Souza Jr. cut the Rays' deficit to 2-1 on a towering, run-scoring double that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury appeared to briefly lose sight of near the warning track. A video review failed to determine if the ball had struck an overhanging catwalk, which would have made it a game-tying homer. Betances entered with one out in the seventh and walked the bases loaded before striking out James Loney on three pitches. Loney had gone 3 for 3 against Severino.
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 in his second game since an MRI exam Tuesday determined he has a bruised left knee. The designated hitter homered Tuesday.
"I feel fine," Rodriguez said before the series finale. "It's banged up a little bit, but it's ready to go."
A-Rod will get a chance to rest the knee during a three-game interleague series against the NL East-leading New York Mets that starts Friday night at Citi Field because the designated hitter will not be used.
Rays: SS Asdrubal Cabrera (strained left knee) could miss at least a few days. ... Relievers Jake McGee (left knee) and Xavier Cedeno (side) will throw to hitters Thursday. C Curt Casali (hamstring) will be among the batters.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (12-6) and Mets LHP Steven Matz (3-0) are Friday night's starters.
Rays: LHP Matt Moore (1-4) will face Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (9-11) in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.