- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Cobb was five outs from a Yankee Stadium feat that’s been 62 years in the making.

And still counting.

Chris Young broke up Cobb’s no-hit bid in the eighth inning and launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth that rallied the New York Yankees to a 5-4 victory Thursday night over the stunned Tampa Bay Rays.

Young’s one-out double ended Cobb’s attempt to become the first visiting pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium since Virgil Trucks did it for the Detroit Tigers in 1952. Six pitchers combined on a no-hitter for the Houston Astros in the Bronx on June 11, 2003.

“Wow. I don’t think it’s actually set in yet,” Cobb said.

Pinch-hitter Martin Prado, on the bench because of a sore hamstring, connected for a two-run shot off Brad Boxberger in the eighth immediately after Cobb was pulled.

Young then homered off closer Jake McGee with one out to win it, and the Yankees took two of three in the series by climbing out of a four-run hole for the second consecutive night - the only times they’ve done that all season.

“Anyone that has seen the Rays all year would take Boxy in the eighth under those circumstances and Jake in the ninth,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It just didn’t play out tonight.”

Yunel Escobar homered twice and drove in four runs for Tampa Bay.

Cobb was lifted after Young’s opposite-field double up the right-center alley on his 102nd pitch. The right-hander with the funky windup, on quite a roll lately, received a warm hand from a crowd of 32,627 that included former Yankees great Mariano Rivera.

“It was tough to break it up at that point,” said Cobb, who was a little surprised to be taken out. “At that point I was still in game mode. I looked up at the video board and saw that it was a pretty decent pitch, so I wasn’t too upset about it.”

New York got a scare in the ninth when Chase Headley was struck on the chin by a 98 mph fastball from McGee (4-2). Headley stayed down on his back for a couple of minutes, covering his mouth with his hand, as he was attended to by two trainers.

With blood trickling down his chin, Headley sat up and walked off the field with both trainers. He was taken to a hospital for further evaluation and will have a facial X-ray, but manager Joe Girardi said the third baseman still had all his teeth and “it doesn’t appear he will need stitches.”

“I rarely hit a batter, so for me it’s a little different when I hit somebody, especially up in the face area,” McGee said. “It’s really hard to get your focus back, but I felt like I got my focus back and just made a couple bad pitches after that.”

Ichiro Suzuki followed with a double and Young, released last month by the crosstown Mets after a season-long slump, drove an 0-1 pitch to left field for his latest big hit in pinstripes this week.

“It’s amazing how things can turn around for a player,” Girardi said. “That’s a huge hit for us.”

Shawn Kelley (3-5) got two outs for the win.

Cobb hasn’t yielded more than two runs in any of his past 12 starts, a club record and the longest active streak in the majors.

“Cobb was outstanding. He was as good as I’ve seen him,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said.

Escobar connected twice off New York starter Michael Pineda, including a three-run shot, for the first multihomer game of his career.

TOUGH ASSIGNMENT

Cobb is 5-1 with a 1.69 ERA in nine starts against the Yankees.

RAY MATTER

The Yankees said Cobb’s gem was the deepest a Tampa Bay pitcher has gone without allowing a hit since Matt Garza pitched the team’s only no-hitter against Detroit on July 26, 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: Maddon said there was nothing new to report on ailing CF Desmond Jennings (sore left knee), who might miss the rest of the season. Jennings sat out his 13th consecutive game.

Yankees: Jeter was hit by a pitch on his left elbow in the eighth and bent over in pain. He stayed in the game, and X-rays were negative. His elbow was wrapped afterward, but he said he was fine. … LF Brett Gardner missed his fifth straight game with an abdominal injury. … DH-OF Carlos Beltran (right elbow) sat out for the second consecutive night.

COSTUME DESIGN

In a good-natured hazing ritual, Rays rookies were dressed up in Super Mario Bros. outfits as they prepared to leave the clubhouse after the game. They gathered for group photos taken by veteran teammates.

UP NEXT

RHP Nathan Karns looks for his first major league win when he makes his Tampa Bay debut Friday night in Toronto. Karns, who made three starts for Washington last year, struck out 12 over seven innings of three-hit ball for Triple-A Durham in the International League playoffs last Saturday against Columbus.

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