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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, August 16 (All times Eastern)

New York Yankees (61-59) at Tampa Bay Rays (61-61), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89) Tampa Bay - Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will clash in the second leg of a three-game series between the American League East foes at Tropicana Field on Saturday, with the Rays trotting out one of their return products from the David Price trade.

Drew Smyly doesn't have the strongest record to his name, but has pitched relatively well this season. He'll face Shane Greene of New York, who is 3-1 on the season.

Smyly's 7-10 record isn't exactly impressive, but he's managed to keep his ERA relatively low (3.73) and has racked up 104 strikeouts over 23 appearances in 2014. Smyly, who turned 25 in June, was part of the three-team deal that landed Price in Detroit.

Smyly ended a personal two-game skid with a fantastic outing on Aug. 11 against Texas. The left-hander delivered 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, and surrendered just three hits on the night with nine strikeouts. It was just his second start for the Rays after moving over from Detroit.

This will be Smyly's first start at his new home in Tropicana Field. Against New York in his career, Smyly is 1-0 in four appearances with a 0.77 ERA. He's only made one start, however.

Greene enters the contest with a 2.89 earned run average. In seven appearances this season (six starts), he's struck out 29 batters and has walked 13.

On Aug. 7 - Greene's last start - the 25-year-old righty had perhaps his best performance of the year. Greene lasted over eight innings after surrendering five hits and no runs to the Tigers in a 1-0 Yankees victory. Greene was left on the mound in the ninth searching for a complete game, but was pulled after giving up a leadoff single.

On the road this season, Greene is a perfect 2-0 in three starts with a 2.45 ERA and 17 punch outs. Opponents are batting just .206 against the youngster when he's pitching away from Yankee Stadium.

The Rays took it to New York on Friday night in the first game of the series by beating the visiting Yanks in a 5-0 shutout. Alex Cobb pitched a gem after lasting 7 1/3 innings and surrendering six hits while recording eight strikeouts. He was credited with the win.

"Really proud of the boys," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was not easy."

The scoring started early for the Rays, as Evan Longoria grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the first. James Loney made it 2-0 Tampa after he himself grounded into a fielder's choice in the first.

Loney later homered in the eighth to round out the scoring in the contest. He had two hits and led the Rays with two RBI in the game.

Brandon McCarthy was tagged with the loss Friday after going 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits. Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter each had two hits to pace New York in the loss.

"We didn't score," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That was the problem."

The Yankees saw their skid reach five games, and Tampa Bay has now won eight of its 11 matchups against the Yankees this season.

08/16 10:32:14 ET

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