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Yankees’ playoff charge continues

– Desperately trying to gain ground in the playoff hunt, the New York Yankees have no time to mess around. That means an early call to Mariano Rivera now and again.

Struggling ace CC Sabathia pitched effectively into the eighth inning before Rivera earned his first four-out save in more than two years, helping New York hold off the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday night for a three-game sweep.

“There are some situations that I have to do it. Tonight was one of those nights,” Rivera said. “We had a lead and had to hold it. We need to do whatever it takes. Two outs, three outs, four outs – whatever it takes.”

Robinson Cano homered for the Yankees, looking to chase down a playoff berth with their late-season charge. Brett Gardner hit a two-run triple and Lyle Overbay an RBI double in a four-run fourth against Erik Johnson (0-1), who was making his major league debut.

New York, which entered 2 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card, has won 17 of its last 24.

Next up for New York, an 11-game run against division foes Boston and Baltimore.

CUBS 9, MARLINS 7: In Chicago, Donnie Murphy homered to cap a four-run rally in the seventh inning and Chicago connected four times in the win.

GIANTS 13, PADRES 5: In San Diego, Pablo Sandoval hit three homers and drove in six runs, leading a rare power show by San Francisco. Sandoval hit a two-run shot in the fifth inning, a leadoff drive in the eighth and a three-run homer in the ninth.

METS 5, BRAVES 2: In Atlanta, Lucas Duda had three hits, including a home run, and Andrew Brown added a towering two-run shot to lead Dillon Gee and New York.

NATIONALS 3, PHILLIES 2: In Philadelphia, Jordan Zimmermann became the National League’s first 16-game winner, pitching seven solid innings to lead Washington. Zimmermann (16-8) struck out five and walked one.


ASTROS 6, TWINS 5: In Houston, Trevor Crowe hit an RBI single in the ninth inning that lifted Houston.

MARINERS 6, ROYALS 4: In Kansas City, Mo., Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to lift Seattle.


DIAMONDBACKS 4, BLUE JAYS 3, 10 inn.: In Phoenix, Willie Bloomquist lined his third hit for a run-scoring single in the 10th and Arizona avoided a three-game sweep.