by Steve Carney

Alex Cobb threw into the ninth inning, and Sean Rodriguez and James Loney each hit two-run homers, as the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees with an 8-3 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay got to Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia in the second inning. as he hit Sean Rodriguez with one out.  Yunel Escobar grounded into a fielder's choice, though all hands were safe as the throw from David Adams to second base was high.  Jose Lobaton singled in the first run with a single to center, and Sam Fuld made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez doubled the lead an inning later, pulling a Sabathia pitch into 162 Landing in left two batters after Evan Longoria singled.

The Rays added three more in the sixth with an RBI double by Escobar, followed by a Loney's two-run shot, his fourth of the year.

Jennings made the lead 8-0 in the eighth with an RBI double, scoring Loney.

Cobb got a chance to earn his first complete-game shutout, but Brett Gardner ended that hope when he led off the top of the ninth with a solo homer.  Robinson Cano singled, but Cobb struck out Vernon Wells to end his night.

Joe Maddon went to Cesar Ramos to try and get the final two outs, but the lefty walked Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay before giving up a two-run double to David Adams to make it 8-3.

Joel Peralta was then summoned from the bullpen, and struck out Ichiro Suzuki and Jayson Nix to end the game.

Tampa Bay will begin a four-game, home-and-home series with the Miami Marlins Monday, with the first two-games to be played at Tropicana Field.  Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will get the start against Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.31 ERA).  First pitch is set for 3:10, with coverage on 620 WDAE and 95.3 FM starting at 2:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.