Poised to sweep the Rays, the Yankees turned to CC Sabathia today at Tropicana Field and watched the ace get punished by a lineup that doesn't scare pitchers.

Sabathia allowed two-run homers to Sean Rodriguez and James Loney on the way to an 8-3 beating that was witnessed by 24,159.

Glossed over by the very successful first seven weeks of the season for the Yankees is that Sabathia (4-4) hasn't won since April 27 and is. That's a streak of five games. While Sabathia hasn't pitched terribly in all five, Sunday's clunker was easily the worst. In seven innings he allowed seven runs and seven hits.

In the five starts since beating the Blue Jays, Sabathia is 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA and has allowed 37 hits in 29 2/3rd innings.

Paired against right-hander Alex Cobb, Sabathia had no chance of winning even if he pitched better. Cobb, who blanked the Yankees through 8 1/3 innings during a 3-0 win on April 24, went the 8 1/3 again Sunday.

The loss sent the Yankees to Citi Field for the first of two games in Queens against the Mets with a 3-3 record on an eight-game road trip.

A leadoff walk to Rodriguez in the sixth stopped a string of seven straight outs recorded by Sabathia. Yunel Escobar's double to right-center scored Rodriguez from first and Loney's towering homer to center pushed the lead to 7-0.