CC aims to find win column, pitch Yankees to sweep of Rays

CC Sabathia is not only on a lengthy winless streak, but since joining the New York Yankees, the left-hander has won just three of his 19 starts against Tampa Bay.

Sabathia aims for his first victory in nearly a month when the Yankees conclude their three-game series with the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

With an 0-1 mark over his last four starts, Sabathia hasn't posted a win since April 27 against Toronto. He has allowed a total of 21 hits over his last two starts, both no-decisions.

Sabathia is 10-10 with a 3.30 ERA in 30 games against Tampa Bay, but only 3-9 with a 3.82 ERA since becoming a Yankee prior to the 2009 season. That includes a 5-1 loss at the Trop on April 22 when Sabathia gave up five first- inning runs. He is 3-6 in 15 career starts at Tropicana Field, marking his lowest winning percentage in any current major league park.

Alex Cobb, today's Rays starter, is headed in the opposite direction of Sabathia with a 2-0 mark over his last four appearances. The right-hander has given up three hits and a run over 6 1/3 innings in each of his last two starts.

Cobb is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four career games against the Yankees. That includes his best start of the season on April 24 at the Trop when he gave up three hits in 8 1/3 shutout innings of a 3-0 Rays win.

New York's Lyle Overbay provided the winning margin Saturday with a solo homer in the top of the 11th inning in a 4-3 final.

The Yankees trailed 3-1 entering the final at-bat before tying the game on a Brett Gardner single that followed Brennan Boesch's pinch-hit RBI double off Rays closer Fernando Rodney with two outs.

Ivan Nova (2-1) worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of 10th to earn the win and enable the Yankees to take their first series at Tropicana Field since April 9-11, 2010.

New York had lost in 13 of its last 16 visits to St. Petersburg prior to Friday's 9-4 triumph in the opener of this three-game set.

"It doesn't seem like we've won a whole lot of games here the last few years, they've really had our number," Gardner remarked. "It feels good to come in here and win the first two and try to go for the sweep tomorrow."

The Rays were dealt a third straight defeat overall, while Matt Moore fell short of becoming the first nine-game winner in the majors this season despite holding the Yankees to one run and five hits through six innings of work.

Moore was matched for most of the afternoon by Vidal Nuno, with the Yankees' rookie charged with two runs allowed on five hits over six-plus frames.

Josh Lueke (0-2) was tagged with the loss after serving up Overbay's go-ahead blast.

It was Rodney's fifth blown save in 10 chances this season.

"This has been really awkward to watch," said Rays manager Joe Maddon of Rodney's problems. "I think three of the blown saves have come on the last pitch. I've not lost any patience with him, honestly."

The Yankees have won three of the five meetings this season.