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Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Rays Report

A baseball blog by Roger Mooney

Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald.

Hot Rays going for series sweep in New York


Published:

NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Rays will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games this afternoon when they try to complete the series sweep against the New York Yankees on another steamy day at Yankee Stadium (1:05 p.m.; Sun Sports).

The starting pitchers are Jake Odorizzi for the Rays and Vidal Nuno for the Yankees.

Odorizzi leads all major league rookie pitchers with 10.56 strikeouts per nine innings. Only three rookies since 1900 have finished the year with a higher rate – Kerry Woods of the Cubs (12.58 in 1998), Doc Gooden of the Mets (11.39 in 1984) and Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers (11.10 in 1995).

Infielder Ben Zobrist will spend his day as the Rays’ DH, a half-day off from manager Joe Maddon. The move keeps Zobrist off his feet but keeps his bat in the lineup.

Sean Rodriguez makes his first start of the season at shortstop. Rodriguez has four hits in his last 32 at-bats but has driven in four runs over his last six games.

The Yankees are without 1B Mark Teixeira and CF Jacoby Ellsbury. The Bombers are going in the opposite direction of the Rays, having lost four straight. The Yankees have won just two of their past 10 games and dropped to .500 for the season.

With his scoreless eighth inning Tuesday, LHP Jake McGee took over the AL lead for ERA by a reliever. His 1.21 ERA is second in the majors behind the 0.96 of Pittsburgh’s Tony Watson.

RHP Joel Peralta can tie Esteban Yan for most career appearances for the Rays if he pitches. Yan pitched in 266 games between 1998 and 2002. Peralta already holds the franchise record for most relief appearances at 265.

Here are the lineups:

RAYS

Jennings CF

Zobrist DH

Guyer LF

Longoria 3B

Loney 1B

Forsythe 2B

Rodriguez SS

Hanigan C

Kiermaier RF

--

Odorizzi RHP (3-7, 4.14)

YANKEES

Gardner LF

Jeter SS

McCann C

Beltran DH

Johnson 1B

Soriano RF

Suzuki CF

Roberts 2B

Solarte 3B

--

Nuno LHP (2-4, 5.42)


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