NEW YORK -- Evan Longoria drove in three runs and Alex Cobb pitched into the eighth inning as the Tampa Bay Rays completed a series sweep of the New York Yankees with a 4-0 victory before 48,675 fans on Thursday night in the final home appearance for closer Mariano Rivera.
Cobb (11-3) allowed three hits in seven-plus innings and Delmon Young added a solo home run for the Rays.
Cobb retired 16 of 17 hitters before allowing a double to Curtis Granderson and a single to Lyle Overbay. Joel Peralta finished the eighth and Jake McGee worked the ninth.
New York starter Ivan Nova (9-6) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings.
"I'm really proud of how our players acknowledged the moment," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of the send-off for Rivera. "He's the greatest closer ever, hard to imagine anyone is ever going to come close to his records. It's got to be what it was like to watch DiMaggio's hitting streak, only longer."
The Rays (90-69) extended their winning streak to seven games, won for the 12th time in 15 games and lowered their magic number for clinching a wild card spot to three over the Cleveland Indians and two over the Texas Rangers.
And though the Rays enjoyed those facts, their focus also was on Rivera's emotional departure.
"It was a tremendous tribute to reflect the player that he is," Rays pitcher David Price said. "A class act."
Maddon said, "It was great choreography. Having the lead made it more pleasing to me to watch."
Wil Myers singled to lead off the fourth, moved up on a walk and raced home ahead of the throw on Longoria's single to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
Young led off the seventh and doubled the advantage, ripping a 1-0 fastball into the bullpen in left center.
Ben Zobrist singled and James Loney doubled in the eighth in front of Longoria, who sent a single into center to score both runners and prompt the Yankees to go to Rivera.
In between the eighth and ninth innings, Rivera retreated to the trainer's room to gather his thoughts and reflect on a legendary career that will conclude Sunday.
Rivera normally sits in the dugout when pitching multiple innings, but this was not a normal appearance for the greatest closer in history.
"I had to regain my composure because I was in the training room," Rivera said. "I was alone there with Mark (assistant trainer Mark Littlefield) and I was trying to put some water on my arm and everything kind of (hit me), all these flashbacks from the minor leagues to the big leagues, all the way to this moment."
Rivera exited after retiring Yunel Escobar for the second out of the ninth on a popup to second base. Instead of manager Joe Girardi coming out to take him out, longtime teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter came out to the mound and shared an emotional embrace with Rivera.
"Definitely, definitely," Rivera said when asked if he was emotional. "Thank God they came out. It was difficult. After the eighth inning, I knew I was going back for the last time. It was totally a different feeling, something I never felt before. I don't know how I got those two guys out. It was amazing. I was trying to talk, I don't know what I was trying to do."
Pettitte said, "I didn't say anything at first," Pettitte said. "I didn't expect for him to be quite so emotional. He just broke down and just gave me a bear hug and I just bear hugged him back. He was really crying. He was weeping.
"I could feel him crying on me and I think I was just telling him 'Man, you've just been so awesome,' just sharing stuff with him that I've already told him and he knows. Just telling him that I appreciate him and love him, man. And it's just been an honor to play alongside him. So that was what I was trying to say to him."
Rivera exited with tears in his eyes, tipped his cap to the crowd and accepted hugs from teammates while the Rays applauded him from across the field.