Yankees lose 5th in row, blanked by Cobb, Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Brandon McCarthy gave up two runs in the first inning Friday night and these days, that's a lot for the New York Yankees to overcome.
"We didn't score. That was the problem," manager Joe Girardi said after a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the Yankees' fifth straight loss in a streak in which they have totaled only seven runs.
Alex Cobb pitched neatly into the eighth inning and the Rays (61-61) became just the fourth team in major league history to reach .500 after falling 18 games under in the same season. The Rays won their third in a row.
Tampa Bay also accomplished the comeback feat in 2004 when known as the Devil Rays. The 1899 Louisville Colonels and 2006 Florida Marlins have also gotten back to the break-even point after dropping 18 under. The Rays were 24-42 on June 10. They are trying to become the first club to finish with a winning record after being so far under.
The Yankees were shut out for the second time in five games and remained eight games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles.
"Cobb pitched a great game and it's just a wasted performance," said Brett Gardner, who went 0-for-3 with a walk. "We're running out of time. Every day that goes by when we don't win makes us one step closer to being home at the end of September, and that's obviously not where we want to be."
Cobb (8-6) gave up six hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out eight and walking one. He improved 4-0 in six career home starts against the Yankees.
McCarthy (4-2) gave up four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings.
After loading the bases with none out in the first, the Rays took a 2-0 lead on RBI grounders by Evan Longoria and James Loney that looked like potential double plays.
"I've got to do a better job of not getting into that jam, where you're relying on something to happen behind you," McCarthy said.
Loney homered in the eighth when Esmil Rogers tried to quick pitch him.
Tampa Bay has held its opponents to three runs or less in a club-record 11 consecutive games.
Yankees: C Brian McCann could be activated from the seven-day concussion list this weekend. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right elbow) will have his first bullpen session Saturday.
Rays: CF Desmond Jennings (sore left shoulder) was back in the starting lineup after missing two games.
Rays LHP Drew Smyly (7-10) and Yankees rookie RHP Shane Greene (3-1) are Saturday's scheduled starters. Smyly will make his first home start since being obtained from Detroit in a three-team deal July 31 that sent Tampa Bay ace David Price to the Tigers.
McCarthy lost his second straight start after going 4-0 in his first five starts with New York. The Yankees were shut out in both losses. "It's not a `me' situation, like woe is me," McCarthy said. "We're not scoring runs and that weighs on everybody."
ERRORLESS STREAK ENDS
Yankees 3B Chase Headley's error led off a two-run seventh inning for the Rays and snapped his errorless streak of 62 games, five short of his career high. It was his first error with the Yankees.
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