by Steve Carney
Alex Cobb threw five shutout innings, but the New York Yankees got a trio of runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Tuesday in Port Charlotte.
Cobb allowed just two hits without walking a batter and struck out six in his fourth start of the spring. Cesar Ramos and Brandon Gomes each had a scoreless inning of relief.
Dane De La Rosa allowed Francisco Cervelli to rach on a single to start the eighth. After getting Melky Mesa to fly out, Thomas Neal singled to move pinch-runner Walter Ibarra to third base. Hak-Ju Lee the booted a sure double-play ball that would have ended the inning, but instead allowed Ibarra to score the first run of the ballgame.
Pinch-hitter Bobby Wilson then singled over a drawn-in infield to bring in both runners and make it a 3-0 game.
Tampa Bay got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a Mike Fontenot sacrifice fly, and got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after Cole Figueroa doubled to lead off the inning, but couldn't cut into the lead any further.
Tampa Bay will have a day off at the major-league level, though Cy Young Award winner David Price will pitch in a minor-league game, and will return to action Thursday in Sarasota against the Baltimore Orioles.