ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — CC Sabathia pitched seven innings for a rare win at Tropicana Field, leading the New York Yankees past David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays 10-2 Thursday night in a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners.
Sabathia (2-2) allowed two runs and seven hits, improving to 2-7 in 12 starts at Tropicana Field since joining the Yankees in 2009. He lowered his ERA to 5.19.
Price (2-1) entered 6-1 in nine starts against Sabathia but gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings. Sean Rodriguez hit into a triple play and had a solo homer for the Rays, who have lost four straight.
Brian Roberts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and rookie Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs each for the Yankees, who have started 10-6 for the fourth consecutive year.
Roberts and Ellsbury both had run-scoring triples, and Derek Jeter hit an RBI single during a three-run second that put the Yankees ahead 4-0.
Alfonso Soriano and McCann made it 6-1 with consecutive homers during the fifth. Solarte added his first major league homer, a two-run shot off Grant Balfour in the ninth
Tampa Bay got a run in fourth when Logan Forsythe scored on McCann’s passed ball, beating Sabathia’s attempted tag at the plate. Rodriguez homered during the seventh.
Rodriguez grounded into a triple play for the second time in his career. The Rays had runners on first and second in the second when Rodriguez hit a hard grounder off Sabathia that Solarte fielded, and he stepped on the third to retire Evan Longoria.
Solarte threw to Roberts at second base to get Wil Myers. The play ended when Scott Sizemore, who had not played first base in his previous 658 professional games, made a nice scoop of Roberts’ relay throw.
It was the first triple play hit into by the Rays since Rodriguez grounded into one on Aug. 16, 2011, at Boston.
Sabathia was pitching the previous time the Yankees turned a triple play, on April 12 last year against Baltimore.
New York got a scare during the third inning when right fielder Carlos Beltran flipped over the short wall down the right-field line chasing Desmond Jennings’ foul ball. Beltran stayed in the game.
NOTES: Tampa Bay senior adviser Don Zimmer is recovering from seven hours of surgery Wednesday to repair a leaky valve in his heart. … Jeter made a diving catch on Myers’ drive to shortstop, starting a fourth-inning double play. … Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (right leg) is expected back Sunday, while closer David Robertson (groin) could return Tuesday. … New York RHP Hiroki Kuroda (2-1) and Tampa Bay LHP Erik Bedard (0-0) are Friday night’s scheduled starters.