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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 23rd (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (38-37) at New York Yankees (41-33), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (1-3, 5.03) New York - Ivan Nova (2-1, 5.16)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees shoot for a series win versus the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday in the finale of a four-game set in the Bronx.
Before the Yankees take the field, the club will hold the 67th Old-Timers' Day. Legends such as Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Paul O'Neill and Bernie Williams will take part in the event at Yankee Stadium.
"Seeing all the people who came back to play in the game, you're like, 'Wow,'" Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the club's website. "This is pretty awesome to see these players walking around roaming the field."
After losing the series opener to Tampa Bay on Thursday, the Yankees have responded with back-to-back wins. Thanks in large part to a four-run seventh inning, the Yankees were able to blow past the Rays on Saturday, 7-5.
After David Adams walked with the bases loaded, Vernon Wells came in as a pinch hitter and delivered the go-ahead bases-clearing double off of Jake McGee. Wells had been mired in a 9-for-87 slump prior to that at-bat.
"Through his struggles, I think his at-bats against lefties were still pretty good," Girardi said. "We just liked the matchup. Vern's been doing it for a long time in big spots."
Zach Almonte continued to shine in his first week as a Major Leaguer by going 1-for-2 with two walks and three RBI. He's now 5-for-7 to start his career.
CC Sabathia battled through seven innings to earn the win, allowing six hits, two walks and five earned runs while striking out just two. Mariano Rivera shut the door in the ninth inning for his 26th save, tying him with Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson for tops in the majors.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Colome struggled in 4 1/3 innings, yielding five hits and five walks, but all three runs allowed were unearned, and while McGee surrendered the game-winning hit, it was Joel Peralta who was saddled with the loss.
"That's the difference between us really being one of the elite right now. We have just permitted too many late games to get away from us," said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
Despite the defeat, Will Myers made history by belting a grand slam in the top of the sixth, becoming the second player in franchise history to hit a grand slam as his first-career home run, joining Jorge Velandia in 2007, who also accomplished the feat against the Yankees.
Chris Archer will toe the rubber for the Rays on Sunday. One of the organization's prized young arms heading into the season, Archer has been underwhelming since getting called up earlier this month, going 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA.
For the third time in four starts, Archer failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his latest outing, yielding five hits, five walks and three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in a June 18 loss to Boston.
The Yankees will call on Ivan Nova to make his first big-league start since May 29. Nova is 2-1 with a 5.16 ERA in six appearances (4 starts) with the Yankees this season, but he has impressed over the last month with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, sporting a 2.04 ERA in three starts.
Nova faced the Rays on May 25, pitching a scoreless inning in relief to earn the win. He's dominated Tampa Bay over the course of his career, going 6-1 with a 2.98 ERA.
06/23 10:33:42 ET