- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The bullpen played a big role in the Yankees’ five-game winning streak. A meltdown by New York’s relievers proved just as pivotal in a loss Friday night.

Adam Warren gave up three runs and Cesar Cabral melted down in the eighth inning, hitting three batters and giving up three more runs before getting ejected in the Yankees’ 11-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Cabral was designated for assignment shortly after the game.

“Obviously our bullpen’s been very, very good or us,” manager Joe Girardi said, “and today we had a hiccup.”

James Loney drove in four runs and the Rays overcame a four-run deficit to break a four-game losing streak.

Pinch-hitter Desmond Jennings had an RBI single before Loney’s two-run single off Warren (0-1) in the seventh inning gave Tampa Bay a 6-5 lead.

“I couldn’t make quality pitches when I needed to, couldn’t put guys away and it cost us,” Warren said. “The whole time I kept thinking I was one pitch from getting out of it, but I couldn’t quite make that pitch.”

Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer during a five-run eighth that made it 11-5. Wil Myers, who finished with three RBIs, added a two-run single.

Cabral was ejected by plate umpire Joe West after hitting Logan Forsythe, the third Ray he had plunked in a span of four batters.

“I was surprised (at the ejection) because they knew I didn’t try to throw at anybody,” Cabral said.

Evan Longoria reached base in all five plate appearances. He had three hits, a walk and was hit near the left knee by Cabral.

Scott Sizemore hit a three-run double and Brett Gardner had an RBI grounder as the Yankees took a 4-0 lead in the second.

Erik Bedard allowed four runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings for the Rays. With Matt Moore (left elbow), Alex Cobb (strained left oblique) and Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow surgery) all on the disabled list, Bedard became the seventh starting pitcher used by Tampa Bay already this season.

New York starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury took an extra-base hit away from Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist with a leaping catch at the wall in the fourth. Later in the inning, Loney cut the Rays’ deficit to 4-2 with a two-run double.

Myers snapped a 10-game RBI drought with a sixth-inning single that pulled the Rays to 4-3. New York went ahead 5-3 in the seventh on Alfonso Soriano’s run-scoring single off Jake McGee (1-0).

New York manager Joe Girardi won a replay challenge in the second inning. After Sizemore’s hit, Ichiro Suzuki was called out at first after laying down a bunt. Following a 47-second delay, umpires ruled Suzuki was safe on the play.

Yankees reliever David Phelps left in the eighth after getting hit by Ryan Hanigan’s liner. He walked off the field and was replaced by Matt Thornton.

NOTES: The Yankees plan to purchase the contract of RHP Matt Daly from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Saturday to take Cabral’s roster spot. … Yankees infielder Yangervis Solarte finished the game with a sore shin after fouling a pitch off it. … New York RF Carlos Beltran didn’t play due to left shoulder and right wrist soreness. He flipped over the short wall down the right-field line while chasing Jennings‘ foul ball Thursday night. … Jerry Springer threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Yankees RHP Ivan Nova (2-1) and Rays RHP Chris Archer (1-1) are Saturday night’s scheduled starters.

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