By MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Alex Cobb took a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning and CC Sabathia’s winless streak reached five starts Sunday in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 8-3 win over the New York Yankees.
Cobb (6-2) lost his shutout bid when Brett Gardner homered leading off the ninth and he wound up allowing two runs and five hits in 8 1-3 innings with eight strikeouts.
Cesar Ramos walked his first two batters and allowed David Adams’ two-run double. Joel Peralta struck out Ichiro Suzuki and Jayson Nix.
Nix reached on an infield single in the third, when replays showed he appeared to be out. He was New York’s only runner until Robinson Cano grounded a single to center leading off the seventh.
Cobb allowed three hits over 8 1-3 innings in a 3-0 victory over Andy Pettitte on April 24.
Sabathia (4-4) dropped to 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA since he beat Toronto on April 27. He allowed seven runs and seven hits in seven innings and is 10-11 in 31 starts against the Rays, including a 3-10 since joining the Yankees.
Sean Rodriguez and James Loney hit two-run homers for the Rays.
New York, which won the first two games of the series, came up short in the bid for its first sweep of three or more games at Tropicana Field since Sept. 13-15, 2005.
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead in the second after Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, Adams made a high throw to second when he tried for a forceout on Yunel Escobar’s grounder to third and Escobar beat first baseman Lyle Overbay’s throw to second on Loney’s grounder, a play in which Sabathia failed to cover first. Jose Lobaton hit a broken-bat RBI single to center and Sam Fuld followed with a sacrifice fly.
Rodriguez homered in the third for a 4-0 lead. His only other home run this year was April 24 off Pettitte.
Escobar hit an RBI double in the sixth and scored on Loney’s homer. Desmond Jennings added an eighth inning RBI double.
NOTES: The Yankees are at the New York Mets on Monday, which marks the start of closer Mariano Rivera’s final regular season Subway Series. “We’ve played a lot of good games at our place and good games at their place,” said Rivera, who says he is retiring after the season. … Tampa Bay RHP Jake Odorizzi (0-0) will make his second start in place of injured Cy Young Award winner David Price (left triceps strain) Monday against Miami.
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