ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alex Cobb lasted just four outs but the Tampa Bay Rays still got some positive news.

The right-hander’s surgically repaired elbow got through it fine.

Cobb, making his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowed seven runs and nine hits as the Rays lost 11-5 to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.

“No concerns with the elbow,” Cobb said. “I’m very thankful that I’m healthy. There’s no physical questions.”

Cobb gave up seven runs on nine hits and a walk. His ERA jumped from 3.06 to 6.16.

“In fairness to Alex, we’ve all got to allow him to go through this a little bit,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s been impressive with what he’s done for us in three starts, and we all know he’s more of the guy he’s shown up until today.”

Gary Sanchez hit two more homers and drove in five runs and Masahiro Tanaka won despite allowing four home runs in the same inning for the Yankees.

Sanchez homered in his fourth straight game. He hit a three-run shot in a four-run second off Cobb (1-1) and added his 19th homer in 43 games this season on a solo drive in the sixth against Justin Marks.

“We were talking on the bench, we were trying to figure out if we’ve ever seen anybody come up and do something like this,” Cash said.

Including two games last season, Sanchez became the first player in major league history to hit 19 homers in his first 45 games. Wally Berger, with the Boston Braves in 1930, went deep 19 times in his first 51 games.

Sanchez was hit on the left arm by a back swing in the ninth but stayed in the game and later said he was fine.

Tanaka (14-4) won his seventh straight decision. He was staked to a 7-0 lead entering the bottom of the third before Tampa Bay teed off.

Bobby Wilson led off with a home run. After Tanaka got two consecutive outs, Evan Longoria, Brad Miller and Corey Dickerson hit three consecutive shots. The four home runs in an inning set a Rays record.

“Obviously tonight was a slugfest and we were on the wrong side of it,” Miller said.

Tanaka joined Zack Greinke, Collin McHugh and Justin Verlander as the only pitchers to give up four homers in an in inning this season. He became the first Yankees’ pitcher to do it since Chase Wright on April 22, 2007, at Boston.

Miller hit another solo shot in the eighth to give him 30 homers this season.


Rays: OF Steven Souza Jr. had left hip surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training. … UTL Nick Franklin, sidelined the past week with a strained left hamstring, popped out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.


Longoria has five homers over his past nine games and 36 this season.


Yankees RHP Luis Cessa (4-2) and Rays LHP Blake Snell (5-8) are Thursday night’s starters in a matchup of rookies.