American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 5th
(All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (77-58) at Tampa Bay Rays (74-62), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Hiroki Kuroda (12-10, 3.04)
Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (10-8, 3.58)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees attempt to avoid a sweep and try to
maintain at least a share of the American League East lead on Wednesday when
they wrap up a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
New York's once 10-game advantage in the division is now gone, as the Yankees
slipped into a first-place tie with Baltimore on Tuesday thanks to an 8-5 loss
to Tampa Bay, coupled with an Orioles' rout in Toronto.
"We're tied", Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said. "It's time to start
at zero. Just keep playing hard, and forget about what happened the past few
weeks. Just focus on the game."
Evan Longoria slugged a two-run homer, while both B.J. Upton and Desmond
Jennings hit solo shots for the Rays, who have won four in a row and moved
just 1 1/2 games back of both the Yanks and Orioles.
"A lot of people on our side kind of wrote it off when we were 10 1/2 games
out, but I've been around long enough to know that this is a long season,"
said Upton. "A lot of things can happen, especially with the second wild card
Alex Cobb (9-8) allowed four hits and a pair of runs over seven innings,
fanning five with one walk.
"I stuck to my game plan," Cobb said. "When I established I was in the zone
and got their bats in swing mode, I was able to work a little bit out of the
zone and make them chase after some pitches."
Fernando Rodney picked up his 42nd save and second in as many days with a
Cano's two-run blast in the first inning was all the offense for the Yankees,
who have lost five of six. New York, though, has held a lead in seven of its
past 10 losses, including the first two games of this series.
"It's hard to win if you don't hit," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We've
had a tough time scoring runs the last couple of weeks. ... That's been part
of our problem."
Freddy Garcia (7-6) was tagged in defeat for five runs on five hits with four
walks and five strikeouts.
Hoping for a better effort tonight, the Yanks turn to Japanese right-hander
Hiroki Kuroda, who has lost his last two starts. Kuroda was defeated by
Baltimore on Friday, as he allowed four runs and eight hits in 8 1/3 frames to
fall to 12-10 on the year to go along with a 3.04 ERA.
Kuroda lost to the Rays earlier in the year in his only other start against
them, serving up six runs in just 5 2/3 frames.
Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with 23-year-old left Matt Moore, who is 10-8
with a 3.58 ERA. Moore absorbed the loss on Thursday in Toronto, as he
surrendered two runs and six hits with three walks in six innings.
"I can't really get on a young pitcher who gives up two runs in six innings,"
Tampa manager Joe Maddon said. "When you don't score any runs you can't cover
Moore has beaten the Yankees both times he has faced them and has pitched to a
2.25 ERA in doing so.
Tampa has won nine of 14 matchups with the Yanks this season, including seven
of eight at the Trop.
09/05 10:29:51 ET