|3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, May 11, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 25,025
Yankees want to keep bats rolling against Rays
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
- The Yankees have won the season series over the Rays in each season dating back to 2015, compiling a 45-31 record over this span. The Rays' -66 run differential against the Yankees since 2015 is their worst mark against any opponent.
- New York last won three of four over Seattle, and the team's 16-6 record since the midpoint in April ranks second in MLB (Cubs, 17-4). The Yankees are scoring 6.00 runs per game in road games (t-third in MLB) with an .825 OPS (fourth in MLB) this season.
- Tampa Bay has held opponents to three runs or fewer in six straight games entering this series -- only they themselves (seven) and Pittsburgh (10) have had longer such streaks this season. Opponents are hitting .210 against Rays pitching this season, second lowest in MLB (Astros, .207).
- Yandy Diaz scored both runs for the Rays yesterday and had a double in each of the three games in the series with Arizona. However, Diaz entered May with a .298 batting average and is hitting .143 this month, the sixth-largest decrease among MLB qualifiers this season.
- In six starts this season, Domingo German has 35 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .167 batting average. The last Yankees to meet these marks through six starts were Phil Hughes in 2010 and Bob Turley in his 1958 Cy Young season.
- DJ LeMahieu's 11-game active hitting streak ranks second in MLB behind only Tampa Bay's Brandon Lowe (12). Eight of these have been multi-hit games, including the last four in a row -- his 14 multi-hit games this season are fewer than only Michael Brantley (18) and Elvis Andrus (15) in the AL.
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Even as manager Aaron Boone's press conferences are filled with injury updates, other aspects of his time are spent discussing some of the unexpected names coming up with big hits for the New York Yankees.
One of those players is Gio Urshela, who helped the Yankees open the 19-game season series with the Tampa Bay Rays on the right foot by hitting the go-ahead two-run single Friday in a 4-3 victory.
On Saturday, the Yankees will get a chance to move into first place in the American League East when they face the Rays for the second game of a three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"They have guys and depth that continue to find ways," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We're all playing the same schedule and they're right there in the thick of it, and they've been beat up."
New York heads into Saturday one half-game behind the Rays, who have held the top spot since March 31. The Yankees are 17-6 in their last 23 games since April 16 and Urshela has produced the tying or game-winning hit in their last three wins.
Originally called up to man third base when Miguel Andujar was sidelined with a strained right shoulder on April 1, Urshela is batting .349 with 13 RBIs. He hit the game-tying homer in the ninth inning Tuesday and the game-winning single Thursday before getting the go-ahead hit in the sixth inning Friday.
"I felt like he was in a really good place from the start of spring training," Boone said. "I know he's talked about some things that he's worked on over the winter, to try and improve as an offensive player. To get results when you make some adjustments or some changes, it gives you confidence."
While Urshela will be in the lineup again, the Yankees could be without Gleyber Torres. Torres hit an RBI single in the first inning but was hit on the elbow in the eight and although he stayed in, he could sit Saturday.
The Rays are 9-6 in their past 15 games and hoping to avoid their second losing streak of three games or more this season. The Rays are also hoping to improve their performance in clutch situations after going 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position in their past two games.
Besides being concerned with producing in clutch spots, the Rays will be holding their breath awaiting the MRI results for pitcher Tyler Glasnow. The right-hander exited due to right forearm tightness in the sixth inning and was headed for an MRI.
"That was tough," Rays outfielder Austin Meadows said. "He's leading the AL in ERA. He's been amazing out there. Seeing him go down, hopefully it's nothing serious. That's a tough blow."
Meadows was acquired along with Glasnow from Pittsburgh last July for Chris Archer. He will be playing his second game back from the injured list after homering and doubling in his return from missing nearly three weeks due to a sprained right thumb.
New York's CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.20 ERA) will look to inch closer to 250 career wins on Saturday. He recorded his 248th victory Monday when he allowed three runs on five hits in five innings against Seattle.
Sabathia is 17-16 with a 3.67 ERA in 48 career starts against the Rays, including a 10-15 mark with the Yankees. In Tampa Bay, he is 8-9 with a 3.58 ERA in 24 starts.
The Rays will employ an opener and use Ryne Stanek, who will make his 10th start. Stanek is 0-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 14 overall appearances and owns a 1.98 ERA as the opener.
The right-hander last pitched Monday when he fanned four and threw 33 pitches in the first two innings of a 6-3 win over Arizona. He has a 3.48 ERA in 11 career appearances against the Yankees.
Stanek could be pitching to a new catcher if Travis d'Arnaud is activated. The Rays acquired d'Arnaud from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday after losing starting catcher Mike Zunino to a strained left quadriceps for possibly four to five weeks.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 11, 2019