- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - As the final out fell into Curtis Granderson’s glove, the Yankees walked calmly to the mound to congratulate Mariano Rivera.

No leaping. No screaming. No bubbly.

Just handshakes.

Playoff berths have become so commonplace in the Bronx _ 16 in 17 years _ they’re no longer cause for celebration.

“We still feel as though we didn’t accomplish anything yet,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said after New York rallied past Tampa Bay 4-2 Wednesday and handed the Rays a damaging defeat in the opener of a day-night doubleheader. “I mean, we’re happy to be in the playoffs, but people aren’t running around here jumping up and down because we clinched a postseason berth. Our goal is to win the division.”

Eduardo Nunez hit a tying home run in the eighth inning against All-Star James Shields, and Robinson Cano followed with a two-run double off J.P. Howell to clinch the Yankees’ spot.

Despite using a makeshift lineup, New York clinched no worse than a wild-card berth and lowered the magic number to two for its 12th AL East title in 16 seasons.

“It’s not time to celebrate just yet,” Nick Swisher said, explaining the Yankees’ reserved approach. “It’s crazy, though. I’m sure a lot of other teams would not be doing that.”

Five World Series titles and seven American League pennants since 1996 for Jeter, Rivera and Jorge Posada have numbed the Yankees and their fans to preliminary achievements.

“It’s the first step of three that you want, to me, to accomplish in the regular season. First one is to get in. Second one is to win your division, and the third one is to have homefield advantage throughout,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Since I’ve been here, I know that there’s been an expectation for this club to win every year, and that starts from the top. That started from Mr. Steinbrenner, and it hasn’t changed one bit.”

In the rain-delayed second game, the Yankees’ CC Sabathia (19-8) was to make his third try for his 20th win. Rookie Jeremy Hellickson (13-10) was to start for the Rays, who led 2-1 in the eighth only to be stunned by the quick turnabout. Tampa Bay began the day trailing Boston by two games for the AL wild-card spot; the Red Sox hosted Baltimore at night.

“It’s not good, but we have another game to play in a couple minutes, so you can’t really worry about it too long,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI double in the first, but that was all the Yankees got off Shields (15-12) until the eighth. Desmond Jennings put the Rays ahead 2-1 with a two-run homer in the second inning off emergency starter Hector Noesi.

Nunez then hooked an 82 mph pitch into the first row of the left-field seats leading off the eighth. Brett Gardner singled with one out, Jeter walked, and that was it for Shields.

Left-hander J.P. Howell relieved and fell behind 3-1, and Cano lined an opposite-field drive into the gap in left-center. In the dugout, Shields briefly put a towel over his head, unable to watch.

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