With a 1-0 lead and two outs in the fifth inning, Jeremy Hellickson was cruising along Sunday. Then he gave up a walk to light-hitting Stephen Drew, and the game turned.
New York scored three runs in the fifth to end Hellickson's day, and lead the Yankees to a 4-2 victory at the Trop. It was the first series loss to the Yankees in the last eight for Tampa Bay, which dropped two games below .500 after getting back even on Friday.
Drew, hitting .170, walked followed by a well-hit double by Martin Prado. Then Brett Gardner singled up the middle for a 2-1 lead. Jacoby Ellsbury added an RBI single.
Mark Teixeira completed the scoring with a solo homer in the top of the eighth.
Before that the Rays had a chance to rally back. Matt Joyce led off the seventh with a double against Hiroki Kuroda, who had not allowed a base runner since the Rays took a lead on Evan Longoria's groundball in the first.
Evan Longoria then made it 3-2 with a single, but after that James Loney and Yunel Escobar could only muster groundouts and after a Vince Belnome walk, Brandon Guyer came on to pinch-hit and was struck out by reliever Shawn Kelley.
The Rays have Monday off before facing Detroit at the Trop.
Hellickson fell to 1-2, giving up the three runs on four hits while needing 99 pitches in five innings. Kuroda went 6 2/3, only striking out one, but got the victory.