ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Corey Dickerson hit a leadoff homer and drove in two runs to lead Alex Cobb and the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Cobb (1-0) pitched into the sixth inning, continuing his comeback from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him most of the past two seasons. Building on five starts he made late last year, the right-hander allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The Rays took two of three games from their AL East rivals to open a season with a series victory for the first time since 2012.
Dickerson hit the first leadoff homer of his career, driving Michael Pineda’s third pitch of the night into the right-field seats. He added an RBI single in the second, when Tampa Bay scored three runs with two outs.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including a home run off Cobb, but the Yankees got little production from the heart of their lineup in the series. Chase Headley had his third straight multi-hit game for New York, going 2 for 3 to finish 7 of 11 in the series.
But Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Matt Holliday — the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters — went 4 for 37 with one RBI in the three games. Sanchez, off to a 1-for-14 start, singled off Cobb in the third inning for his first hit.
Pineda (0-1), who was 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts against Tampa Bay a year ago, struck out six while allowing four runs and eight hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Dickerson’s homer was the ninth Tampa Bay has hit off the right-hander since the start of last season.
If there was a bright spot for the Yankees in the series, it was the performance of a bullpen that didn’t allow a run in 13 2/3 innings, including the final 4 1/3 innings Wednesday night.
Cobb walked one and struck out four in his first April start in three years. He won at Tropicana Field for the first time since Aug. 21 against Detroit.
The right-hander missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing elbow surgery. He made five starts last season, going 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA.
Yankees: SS Didi Gregorius, out until sometime in May with a sprained right shoulder, will increase his throwing from 60 to 90 feet on Thursday.
Rays: SS Matt Duffy (Achilles tendon), one of seven Tampa Bay players who began the season on the disabled list, did flexibility drills in the outfield.
Yankees: Following an off day, RHP Luis Severino faces Orioles RHP Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday night in the first of three games in Baltimore. Severino won the fourth spot in the rotation during spring training. He went 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts last season.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell and Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman are the scheduled starters Thursday in the opener of a four-game series. Stroman is 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four career starts at Tropicana Field.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)