|N.Y. Yankees (11-9)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||1|
|Tampa Bay (10-11) «||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||x||3||8||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Cobb felt like the game was in good hands when he got pulled two outs from a potential shutout.
"He can get on that kind of a roll," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "When he has his fastball command going, which he had all night, everything else plays off of that."
Cobb (3-1) gave up only two hits through the eighth -- Eduardo Nunez's second-inning single and an infield single by Jayson Nix in the sixth. The right-hander, who struck out seven and walked one, was replaced by Fernando Rodney after giving up a one-out single in the ninth to Brett Gardner.
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"I was pretty tired," Cobb said. "Early in the year, close game. Power guys coming up. You've got to get the win, and Rodney obviously shuts the door pretty well."
Zobrist put the Rays up 2-0 on a two-out, two-run double off Andy Pettitte (3-1) in the fifth.
Sean Rodriguez homered for Tampa Bay, which has won 13 of its last 16 homes games against the Yankees dating to July 2011. The Rays have thrown five shutouts this season.
Pettitte came up short in his bid to win his first four starts of the season for the first time, giving up three runs and seven hits in six innings. The 40-year old struck out 10, giving him 15 career double-digit strikeout games, and walked one.
Jose Molina was hit in the foot by Pettitte to open the fifth. The catcher advanced to third after Yankees right fielder Brennan Boesch was charged with an error for letting Kelly Johnson's ground single go under his glove. Johnson reached second on the miscue.
"It wasn't over the middle of the plate, it just wasn't a great sequence for me," Pettitte said. "It wasn't a terrible pitch, but obviously it wasn't the right pitch at that time."
Waiting in the on-deck circle when Zobrist got his hit was Tampa Bay slugger Evan Longoria, who was 2 for 20, including two hitless at-bats earlier Wednesday, with 11 strikeouts against Pettitte. Longoria hit an inning-ending grounder to third.
"I'm just trying to get him out," Pettitte said of pitching to Zobrist. "I have no idea what my numbers are on him. I feel like everybody's hitting .300 off me, to tell you the truth, so I'm just trying to make pitches."
Tampa Bay went ahead 3-0 on a solo homer in the sixth by Rodriguez.
Maddon concluded his homestand-long effort to keep his team loose Wednesday by having a pair of penguins, Cliff and Shelly, in the clubhouse before batting practice.
"It's a continuation of our attempt to get our players to chill out a bit," Maddon said.
Maddon featured a cockatoo, which he had in clubhouse and later on his shoulder as he held his pregame media session on Tuesday. Last weekend he had a DJ play music in the clubhouse and a magician do card tricks.
The Rays went 5-1 on the homestand after losing seven of nine on a road trip.
"It was a tough, tough road trip," Cobb said. "It was becoming not fun to be in the clubhouse. We definitely made up for that this homestand, which was also fun."
|Alex Cobb dominates the Yankees through 8 1/3 innings. He yields just three hits while striking out seven batters. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Yankees|
|Brett Gardner, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Ichiro Suzuki, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.325|
|Travis Hafner, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.300|
|Francisco Cervelli, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.265|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.234|
|Eduardo Nunez, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.184|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.222|
|Jayson Nix, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.233|
|E - Brennan Boesch (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Yankees|
|Andy Pettitte (L,3-1)||6||7||3||2||1||10||1||2.22|
|HBP - Molina (by Andy Pettitte)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 105-68, Shawn Kelley 33-20|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 6-2|
|Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 27, Shawn Kelley 8|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Desmond Jennings, CF||4||0||1||0||0||3||2||.235|
|Ryan Roberts, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.277|
|Ben Zobrist, RF-SS||4||0||2||2||0||1||1||.267|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Sean Rodriguez, 1B||3||1||2||1||0||1||0||.280|
|James Loney, 1B||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.313|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.164|
|Sam Fuld, RF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Shelley Duncan, DH||2||0||0||0||1||2||2||.196|
|a- Matt Joyce, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.189|
|Jose Molina, C||3||1||0||0||0||0||3||.238|
|Kelly Johnson, LF||3||1||1||0||0||1||1||.200|
|a-struck out for Duncan in the 8th|
|2B - Ben Zobrist (5, Pettitte)|
|HR - Sean Rodriguez (1, Pettitte)|
|RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (15), Sean Rodriguez (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (6)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Escobar-S. Rodriguez|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Alex Cobb (W,3-1)||8.1||3||0||0||1||7||0||1.82|
|Fernando Rodney (S,3)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.91|
|Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 106-72, Fernando Rodney 14-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 10-7, Fernando Rodney 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 28, Fernando Rodney 3|
|Attendance - 19177|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Rob Drake|