Rays 4, Yankees 2

David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays found a way to beat the New

York Yankees again.

Price pitched six strong innings and the surging Rays won for

the eighth time in 10 games, rallying to beat CC Sabathia 4-2 and

hang on to first place in the AL East on Saturday night.

”Whenever you’re pitching against a guy like CC, you give up

three runs and you’re going to lose. That’s what happened,” Price

said. ”It was the first guy to give up that third run was going to

get that loss.”

Evan Longoria snapped a 2-2 tie with a sixth-inning RBI single

and added a solo homer in the eighth to help reigning AL Cy Young

Award winner Price (8-5) win his fifth consecutive decision and

improve to 7-1 since a stint on the disabled list for a left

triceps strain.

Sabathia (11-11) took a 2-0 lead into the sixth before giving up

three quick runs the Rays used to remain in first place, percentage

points ahead of the Boston Red Sox.

”It’s frustrating,” Sabathia said. ”One big inning. I just

feel like I can’t stop the bleeding.”

The fourth-place Yankees have dropped the first two games of a

weekend series after winning five straight as part of a surge that

carried them back into playoff contention.

”It’s not what you want, but you’ve got to turn it around

tomorrow. You can’t let this carry over,” Yankees manager Joe

Girardi said. ”You’ve got to turn it around tomorrow and play well

the rest of this road trip.”

Price allowed two runs and five hits over six innings. Jake

McGee, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney finished up, with Rodney

working a perfect ninth to earn his 30th save.

Sabathia, the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner with Cleveland,

allowed three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked two

and struck out seven.

”You look at the (first) five innings, it’s probably the best

five innings, maybe, he’s thrown all year in a group like that,”

Girardi said. ”We need to win games. That’s the frustrating part.

He didn’t pitch that poorly of a game. We didn’t score runs. We

only scored two runs.”

This was the ninth time in their careers that Price and Sabathia

have faced each other. The Rays have won eight of those games, with

Price going 6-1 in the matchups.

But Tampa Bay’s success against Sabathia extends beyond Price

outpitching the Yankees ace.

Sabathia has won just four of his 23 starts against the Rays

since signing with New York as a free agent before the 2009 season.

He was 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 11 starts against Tampa Bay prior to

joining the Yankees.

The 33-year-old’s bid to reverse the trend went well early, with

Sabathia limiting the Rays to Longoria’s first-inning double on a

hard grounder up the third base line until Tampa Bay broke through

for three runs in the sixth.

Sam Fuld’s bloop single to left got the Rays going. Desmond

Jennings drew a four-pitch walk and both runners scored when Ben

Zobrist lined a double into the gap in left-center field to move

into fourth place on Tampa Bay’s career RBI list with 450. Longoria

singled to center to give Price a 3-2 lead.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the fifth on singles by Alex

Rodriguez, Vernon Wells and Mark Reynolds, then scored twice to

take a 2-0 lead without getting the ball out of the infield.

Austin Romine fouled off three consecutive pitches on a full

count before drawing a walk that allowed Rodriguez to score. Ichiro

Suzuki grounded out to second base to drive in the other run.

The walk was only the sixth Price has allowed in 11 starts since

coming off the disabled list on July 2.

”You’ve got to be in the dugout to understand. That game began

today and our guys believed we were going to win. Not in a cocky

way, just in a very confident way,” Rays manager Joe Maddon

said.

”When you get to that point in the year – almost September –

and you get that vibe among your group, it’s kind of a good thing.

We’ve been there before as a playoff and it really smells that way

again.”

Notes: Girardi said that barring a setback, SS Derek Jeter

(strained right calf) will rejoin the team Monday in Toronto. …

Rays All-Star LHP Matt Moore, on the 15-day disabled list due to

left elbow soreness, pitched a simulated game and could be on track

to return to the rotation soon. The 14-game winner said he felt

good after the 49-pitch outing. ”Today was a very positive day. I

think we definitely can build off this,” Moore said. … Yankees

OF Brett Gardner was out of the lineup against the left-handed

throwing Price. He pinch-hit in the ninth against Rodney and flied

to center to end the game. … New York 1B Lyle Overbay (flulike

symptoms) took batting practice, but didn’t start for the second

straight game.