Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon never imagined he would have to use Jake McGee and Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning Friday night not when the Rays were sailing along with a nine-run lead and then a seven-run lead and then a six-run lead.

But as Maddon would later say there are going to be some rugged wins over the course of the season and Rays had a rugged win against the Yankees Friday.

Still they had a win. A big win.

The Rays' 10-6 victory coupled with the Red Sox's loss in Baltimore moved the Rays into first place alone in the American League East for the first time all season.

Not bad for a team that was in last place on June 23.

The Rays celebrated because they celebrate every win with a post-game clubhouse dance party complete with strobe lights that travel with this team around the country.

But first place? It's still July.

"Of course there's satisfaction in it" Maddon said "but there's no complacency in it either. It's going to be a while. There's a couple of months left and (the Red Sox) are really good. It's always good to validate what you have been doing. You get to that particular point and you're there and you want to stay there no question.

"Now it's up to us to continue to play the game properly."

Friday's win was the 20th in the Rays' last 23 games a run that carried them from seven games back to the top of the division standings.

Jeremy Hellickson pitching in Yankee Stadium for the first time since September 2011 survived a pair of rocky innings to win his 10th game of the season.

"That is all the matters" Hellickson said. "It's not hard to win games when I'm getting eight nine 10 runs a game. All the credit goes to the offense."

Wil Myers extended his streak of at least two hits in a game to seven one shy of Carl Crawford's team record for multi-hit games set in 2007.

Evan Longoria also extended his hitting streak to eight games.