Alex Rodriguez belted an eighth-inning grand slam to tie Lou Gehrig and spark a New York Yankees rally that helped them overcome a four-run deficit and to a 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

Rodriguez's blast was the 23rd grand slam of his career to tie him with Gehrig for the all-time lead. It also tied the game at 4-4 after the Braves had entered the eighth inning with a 4-0 lead.

"This was definitely one to remember," Rodriguez, who now has 639 career home runs and is fifth all-time, told reporters. "It was big; it really was. I really felt like it was a swing for the team.

"I feel like everybody needed that hit and we've all been waiting for it."

Nick Swisher followed Rodriguez with a two-run blast to give the Yankees their fifth successive victory.

The Yankees (36-25) now hold a one-game lead in the American League East after the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the New York Mets.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia lasted seven innings and struck out six to get the win and improve to 8-3.

The Braves (34-28) wasted one of the best outings of the season from Mike Minor, who left the game in the eighth with a 4-0 lead that the bullpen squandered. Jonny Venters, who gave up the homer to Rodriguez, took the loss.

"It is what it is. I made a bad pitch, and he crushed it," Venters said.

"I was trying to attack him and throw the ball down and get a ground ball. Unfortunately, it was a sinker that didn't sink a whole lot. It stayed up, and he's Alex Rodriguez."

Matt Diaz put Atlanta ahead with a three-run double in the first inning, and the home team added another run in the seventh before tumbling to their third successive defeat.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)