Published: Sep 14, 2012 10:44 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 15, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) - David Price earned his league-leading 18th win with another superb performance against the New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Rays opened a key series against their AL East rival Friday night by taking advantage of a fading CC Sabathia and hanging on for a 6-4 victory.

The Rays began the day four games behind division co-leaders Baltimore and New York.

Out of the rotation since Sept. 2 because of a sore shoulder, Price (18-5) boosted his AL Cy Young Award credentials with seven innings of two-run ball. Striking out six and giving up five hits, the lanky lefty got a big lift from an inadvertent deflection off an umpire and a fine play by second baseman Elliot Johnson.