The Yankees will go for their sixth straight victory tonight here at Tropicana Field, playing the second game of a four-game series with the Rays. Hiroki Kuroda and Erik Bedard comprise the pitching matchup, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. The game is on YES and MLB Network, and also WFAN.
Some quick hits from Joe Girardi’s pregame session…
- Carlos Beltran had an MRI on his left shoulder and right wrist after last night’s tumble over a short wall in right field. The tests were clean, but today is going to just be a treatment day for Beltran and he’s unavailable to play. Beltran is hopeful that he’ll be in tomorrow night’s lineup.
- Brian Roberts is out of the lineup, but Girardi said that was because Roberts wasn’t going to play four games on the turf. He ran a lot last night, so Girardi thought tonight would be a good night to give him off. Roberts also said everything was fine.
- Mark Teixeira had five Minor League at-bats today over in Tampa. He’s scheduled to play seven innings tomorrow and is on track to be in Sunday’s lineup against left-hander Cesar Ramos.
- Sunday’s Yankees starter is still TBA, though Girardi is leaning toward Vidal Nuno. The Red Sox will see Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia next week at Fenway Park.
- David Robertson had fielding practice today at the Trop. He’ll pitch tomorrow in a Minor League game and believes he will be ready for activation Tuesday.
- Dellin Betances is unavailable tonight after throwing two innings last night.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Brett Gardner LF
Hiroki Kuroda RHP (2-1, 3.86)
David DeJesus CF
Erik Bedard LHP (0-0, 0.00)
ST. PETERSBURG — The Yankees went around the horn to complete a triple play, their second in the last two seasons, in the second inning on Thursday against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
With runners at first and second, third baseman Yangervis Solarte fielded a hard chopper off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez, then raced to third base to force out Evan Longoria.
Solarte threw to second baseman Brian Roberts, who straddled the second base bag and forced out Wil Myers. Roberts quickly fed a throw to first baseman Scott Sizemore, who scooped the ball in time to retire Rodriguez.
It was the third time that the Rays have hit into a triple play in their franchise history, and Rodriguez also hit into the most recent one, on Aug. 16, 2011 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
CC Sabathia was the beneficiary of Thursday’s triple play, raising his arms in celebration, and Sabathia has been on the mound for all three of the Yankees’ most recent triple plays.
The left-hander was also on the hill for a triple play on April 22, 2010 against the Athletics in Oakland — also a 5-4-3, Alex Rodriguez to Robinson Cano to Nick Johnson on a ground ball hit by Kurt Suzuki.
Sabathia was again on the mound for an April 12, 2013 triple play against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium, the first 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play in history, involving second baseman Cano, shortstop Jayson Nix, third baseman Kevin Youkilis and first baseman Lyle Overbay on a ball hit by Manny Machado.
Before the most recent run of triple plays, the Yankees’ last triple play was completed on June 3, 1968 against the Twins at Yankee Stadium — pitcher Dooley Womack to third baseman Bobby Cox to first baseman Mickey Mantle, on a ball hit by Minnesota’s John Roseboro.
The Yankees have returned to Florida, arriving here in St. Petersburg to open a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight’s pitching matchup is a meeting between former Cy Young Award winners that we are seeing for the 10th time, as CC Sabathia and David Price are going head to head.
The numbers aren’t pretty for those previous nine meetings. The Rays have won eight of those games, and Price is 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA in those contests. It may go beyond just Price; since signing with the Yankees as a free agent before the 2009 season, Sabathia has won just four of his 23 starts against Tampa Bay.
“They’re a pretty talented group, No. 1,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When you look at what CC has done in his career, you don’t expect him to have really bad numbers against anyone because he’s been such a successful pitcher. They’ve been tough on him.”
Some quick hits to get you up to speed on…
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
CC Sabathia LHP (1-2, 6.63)
Ben Zobrist 2B
David Price LHP (2-0, 2.91)
Today marks the eighth doubleheader in the history of the current Yankee Stadium, with Michael Pineda set to finish this one off. The Cubs are pitching lefty Travis Wood in a game that features Derek Jeter’s return to the lineup after three games off (counting today’s Game 1), plus an off-day and a rainout.
Players from both teams are wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, and we just heard the alternative Bob Sheppard introduction of: “Now batting for the Yankees, number 42, Derek Jeter. Number 42.” That’s a recording that will be used for the last time today, since this is Jeter’s final Jackie Robinson Day as an active player.
Emilio Bonafacio CF
Travis Wood LHP (0-1, 2.92)
Brett Gardner CF
Michael Pineda RHP (1-1, 1.50)
It feels like it has been a while since we’ve been at the ballpark, with Monday’s off-day and Tuesday’s rainout. We’ll be making up for that this afternoon and evening, with a split admission day-night doubleheader scheduled between the Yankees and the Cubs.
Bundle up, because it’s cold here in New York — I mean, it’s February, let’s get to Tampa for Spring Training cold — but we’ll have baseball today in the Bronx, assuming they can get the ice off the playing field.
Here are the lineups for Game 1, with Masahiro Tanaka and Jason Hammel comprising your pitching matchup. Derek Jeter is scheduled to return to the Yankees lineup in Game 2.
Emilio Bonafacio 2B
Jason Hammel RHP (2-0, 2.63)
Brett Gardner LF
Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.21)