Sabathia ripped by Rays as Yankees lose 5-1

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NEW YORK (AP) - Just when the New York Yankees need CC Sabathia to shore up a shaky rotation, the big left-hander is letting them down.

A reliable ace for so long, Sabathia struggled again Sunday and was chased in the fourth inning of his shortest start since 2009. Consecutive defeats have swelled his ERA to 5.75 following a subpar season last year when his velocity dropped off.

The 33-year-old Sabathia is struggling to adjust, and the timing isn’t good.

“I still think he’s evolving as a different kind of pitcher,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We have to start getting some length out of our starters and get some guys on a roll or it’s going to be difficult for our bullpen.”

Wil Myers hit an inside-the-park homer, his latest big blow against the Yankees, and drove in four runs in Tampa Bay’s 5-1 victory. Erik Bedard (1-1) earned his first win as a starter since last June, and Evan Longoria had an RBI double to help the Rays take two of three in the series.

New York is minus two injured starters in Ivan Nova (season-ending elbow surgery) and Michael Pineda (back), leaving Japanese rookie Masahiro Tanaka as the only steady arm in a rotation that looked formidable just a few weeks ago.

“I feel like I could turn this thing around,” Sabathia said. “I think last year I got down on myself and made myself miserable. This year I’m going to stay positive. I know I can get these guys out.”

Myers knocked in three runs with his homer off the top of the center-field fence and then chased Sabathia with a ringing RBI double in the fourth. Tampa Bay has won eight of its last 10 in the Bronx.

Sabathia (3-4) gave up 10 hits and five runs in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start since lasting 2 2-3 innings on Oct. 2, 2009, at Tampa Bay. He was late covering first on a potential double play and got booed by the crowd of 41,122.

“I would have booed myself today, too. I wouldn’t want to come to the ballpark and watch that,” said Sabathia, who is 0-3 with a 7.47 ERA at home this season. “It’s frustrating. I just didn’t have the stuff.”

Peyton Manning and his brother, Eli, showed up to watch buddy Derek Jeter play one last time during his final season. The star quarterbacks sat in Jeter’s suite along the first base line but didn’t see much of a show - a slumping Jeter went 0 for 4 and stranded four runners. He was 4 for 30 (.133) on New York’s 3-5 homestand and is hitless in 13 at-bats.

“I concern myself with how I feel,” Jeter said. “I feel good.”

Logan Forsythe, the first batter Sabathia faced, doubled off the wall in left and scored on Longoria’s ground-rule double to right.

“He was out of sync from the get-go,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “He didn’t warm up particularly well. I was kind of watching to see what we could do, but there wasn’t much.

“We’ve got some things to work on,” Rothschild added. “It can turn anytime and we’re all thinking that it will.”

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