ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A first-inning outburst against Yankees starter CC Sabathia was more than enough for the Rays' Matt Moore on Monday as Tampa Bay beat New York 5-1 to open a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Moore (4-0, 1.04 ERA) allowed just one run on two hits in eight innings. He struck out nine and walked three. Kyle Farnsworth pitched a perfect ninth for Tampa Bay.
Ryan Roberts hit his first two home runs of the year for Tampa Bay, which pulled within one game of the .500 mark with its fourth straight win.
Sabathia (3-2, 3.34) allowed five runs on seven hits - four of them for extra bases - in seven innings as the Yankees fell to 10-8. Sabathia struck out eight and walked two.
Sabathia was hit hard in the first inning, allowing two home runs and a triple as the Rays gave Moore a 4-0 lead that looked bigger with each passing inning.
Roberts opened the scoring with a solo homer, and after Ben Zobrist whiffed for the second out, Evan Longoria singled and scored on a Sean Rodriguez triple. Yunel Escobar, bumped from the ninth spot to sixth because of a recent tear, homered on the first pitch he saw for the second consecutive game, upping the lead to 4-0.
Robinson Cano trimmed the deficit to 4-1 with a soaring home run to right on a 1-2 pitch in the fourth inning. The Yankees threatened with runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, but Moore struck out clean-up hitter Vernon Wells and retired Francisco Cervelli on a fly out to preserve the lead.
NOTES: Yankees first baseman and cleanup hitter Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup less than an hour before the start because of what the team described as a "tight lower back." He was replaced in the field by Lyle Overbay, who hit eighth, and in the fourth spot by Wells. Youkilis (.295 batting average) left a game at Toronto on Saturday with back tightness and did not play on Sunday, although he declared himself fit. ... Rays outfielder Luke Scott will begin a rehab stint on Tuesday with Class A Charlotte (Fla.). He has not played in the regular season because of a strained calf. ... The Yankees entered the game 9-0 when holding opponents to four runs or less and 7-0 when scoring first. They did neither on Monday. ... Roberts had his third career multi-homer game, his first since 2011 with Arizona.