St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - With Alex Cobb tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings to lead the way, the Tampa Bay Rays dealt the reeling New York Yankees a fifth straight loss with a 5-0 decision at Tropicana Field.
Cobb (8-6) scattered six hits -- all singles -- and a walk while notching eight strikeouts to record his sixth straight winning decision and bring the resurgent Rays to .500 for the first time since April 22.
Tampa Bay stood a major league-worst 24-42 on June 10, but has gone 37-19 since.
"It was not easy," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of working their way back to the .500 mark. "We definitely dug ourselves a substantial hole and we're getting out of it now."
James Loney paced the Rays offensively by going 2-for-4 with a homer and a pair of RBI, while Desmond Jennings had two hits and a run scored in his return from a two-game absence.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira each finished 2-for-4 for New York, which has matched its longest skid of the season. Brandon McCarthy (4-2) worked 6 1/3 innings in defeat, permitting four runs -- two earned -- and striking out seven.
"He made pitches," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of McCarthy. "He didn't catch any breaks."
Cobb began his gem by striking out Brett Gardner and Jeter on six pitches to open the contest, then took the mound in the second carrying a 2-0 lead after his teammates manufactured a pair of early runs.
Singles by Jennings and Ben Zobrist quickly put men on the corners with none out, and both scored on consecutive fielder's choice grounders from Evan Longoria and Loney that came after McCarthy's lone walk of the evening.
McCarthy held the Rays in check until being reached for a couple of unearned runs in the seventh, but New York's slumping offense just wasn't able to get anything going against Cobb.
The Yankees did put the leadoff man on in four straight innings from the second through fifth, but got the runner to second only once over that stretch. That came when Jeter singled and advanced on a wild pitch in the fourth, before Cobb set down the next three New York hitters.
An error by Yankees third baseman Chase Headley to start the bottom of the seventh helped Tampa Bay increase its margin, with Logan Forsythe moving to second on a sacrifice and coming around on Curt Casali's single through the right side.
After Kevin Kiermaier and Jennings followed with singles to load the bases and chase McCarthy, Zobrist hit into a force play to bring in the Rays' fourth run.
New York finally threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with one out on singles by Francisco Cervelli and Jeter around a walk to Gardner. Brad Boxberger was able to preserve the shutout bid, however, by fanning Jacoby Ellsbury and Teixeira in succession.
Loney made it a 5-0 lead by connecting off Esmil Rogers in the bottom of the eighth.
The Rays are the fourth team in MLB history to get back to .500 after being 18 games under during a season, and the first since the 2006 Florida Marlins ... Tampa Bay extended its club-record streak to 11 straight games of allowing three or fewer runs ... Headley's miscue ended a string of 62 straight games without an error ... The Rays have now taken five straight from New York and improved to 8-3 in the season series ... Jennings had missed Tampa's last two tilts with a sore shoulder.