St. Petersburg, FL – Ben Zobrist hit a two-run double and Alex Cobb pitched into the ninth inning, as Tampa Bay earned a 3-0 decision over the Yankees in the rubber match of a three-game series from Tropicana Field.
Sean Rodriguez added a solo shot for the Rays, who remained hot thanks to their sixth win in eight outings.
Cobb (3-1) tossed 8 1/3 innings of three-hit, scoreless ball during which he fanned seven and walked only one. Fernando Rodney recorded the final two outs for his third save.
"I felt really good out there tonight," Cobb said. "I knew throwing out my first bullpen [session] that I was going to have good fastball location. "When you have that mindset going into the first couple of innings, you get in kind of a groove and things just start to work."
Andy Pettitte (3-1) suffered his first defeat after yielding seven hits and three runs -- two earned -- over six full frames. The veteran lefty did strike out a season-high 10 batters in the loss for New York, which has dropped three of four.
Cobb was pulled after a Brett Gardner single with one down in the ninth, and Rodney allowed a base hit to Ichiro Suzuki before Robinson Cano's groundout placed two in scoring position with two outs.
Travis Hafner popped out to end the game.
"I sent him out with the thought of 'One man on, he was done,'" Maddon said. "I thought that was the right time to bring Fernando in."
The Rays got to Pettitte in the fifth. Jose Molina was plunked to start the frame, Kelly Johnson singled and runners were on the corners thanks to a Brennan Boesch fielding error. After Desmond Jennings and Ryan Roberts fanned, Zobrist plated two with a double.
"It wasn't a terrible pitch, but it also was the wrong one at the wrong time," Pettitte admitted.
Rodriguez began the home sixth with his first homer of the season, and Cobb shut the door on the visitors, retiring nine in a row until Gardner's hit.
The Rays won their sixth straight series vs. New York at Tropicana Field. where they have not lost a series since April 9-11, 2011 ... New York lost for the first time all season when holding an opponent to four runs or less, dropping their record to 10-1 in such games ... Both clubs are in action on Thursday, as the Yankees return home to kick off a 10-game homestand facing the Blue Jays, while the Rays remain home to welcome the White Sox for a four- game set.