ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — David Price was no match for CC Sabathia or the New York Yankees this time.
Sabathia pitched seven innings for a rare win at Tropicana Field, leading the Yankees past Price and the Rays 10-2 Thursday night in a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners.
Price (2-1) entered 6-1 in nine starts against Sabathia, but gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings in the opening game of a four-game series.
Sean Rodriguez hit into a triple play in the second inning and had a solo homer for the Rays, who have lost four straight.
The 4-0 deficit the Rays faced in the second inning was a big problem for a team that had scored only 14 runs in 10 games, but Price dismissed that as a factor in his poor start.
"The way we're playing doesn't dictate how I throw the ball. I just didn't throw the ball well enough tonight," he said. "This is one start. I know (the media) blow it up to be a lot more than it really is, but everybody's going to have their bad days. I had mine."
Sabathia (2-2) allowed two runs and seven hits, improving to 2-7 in 12 starts at Tropicana Field since joining the Yankees in 2009.
Brian Roberts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and rookie Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs each for the Yankees, who have started 10-6 for the fourth consecutive year.
Roberts and Ellsbury both had run-scoring triples, and Derek Jeter hit an RBI single during a three-run second that put the Yankees ahead 4-0.
Alfonso Soriano and McCann made it 6-1 with consecutive homers during the fifth. Solarte added his first major league homer, a two-run shot off Grant Balfour in the ninth.
"I've struggled here, especially against Price," said Sabathia. "These guys came in here swinging. We got off to a good lead. I was just trying to get them back in the dugout."
Tampa Bay got a run in the fourth when Logan Forsythe scored on McCann's passed ball, beating Sabathia's attempted tag at the plate. Rodriguez homered during the seventh.