Game 17: Yankees at Rays

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:

    YANKEES (10-6)

    Brett Gardner LF
    Derek Jeter SS
    Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    Alfonso Soriano DH
    Brian McCann C
    Yangervis Solarte 2B
    Kelly Johnson 1B
    Scott Sizemore 3B
    Ichiro Suzuki RF

    Hiroki Kuroda RHP (2-1, 3.86)

    RAYS (7-9)

    David DeJesus CF
    Ben Zobrist 2B
    Matt Joyce LF
    Evan Longoria 3B
    James Loney 1B
    Wil Myers RF
    Logan Forsythe DH
    Yunel Escobar SS
    Ryan Hanigan C

    Erik Bedard LHP (0-0, 0.00)

Yankees turn triple play vs. Rays

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.

Game 16: Yankees at Rays

Greetings From St PetersburgThe 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…

  • Scott Sizemore is making his first career appearance at first base tonight; he has not played the position at any level, though they had been having him take ground balls at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Joe Girardi wants to get as many right-handed bats in the lineup as possible against Price. Sizemore is borrowing Kelly Johnson’s glove tonight.

  • David Robertson threw a bullpen session on Thursday at Tropicana Field and remains on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday against the Red Sox in Boston, the first day that he would be eligible.

  • Mark Teixeira played three innings in a Minor League game on Thursday at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla., and is expected to be ready to appear in the big league lineup on Sunday against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Teixeira, Robertson and Brendan Ryan will all play in Minor League games on Saturday.

  • Girardi said that he still needs to keep an eye on shortstop Derek Jeter, who returned to the lineup on Wednesday and went 1-for-5 after resting a tight right quadriceps.


    Here are tonight’s lineups:

    YANKEES (9-6)

    Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    Derek Jeter SS
    Carlos Beltran RF
    Alfonso Soriano DH
    Brian McCann C
    Yangervis Solarte 3B
    Scott Sizemore 1B
    Brian Roberts 2B
    Ichiro Suzuki LF

    CC Sabathia LHP (1-2, 6.63)

    RAYS (7-8)

    Ben Zobrist 2B
    Desmond Jennings DH
    Logan Forsythe LF
    Evan Longoria 3B
    Wil Myers RF
    Sean Rodriguez 1B
    Brandon Guyer CF
    Yunel Escobar SS
    Jose Molina C

    David Price LHP (2-0, 2.91)

  • Game 15: Yankees vs. Cubs

    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.

    CUBS (4-9)

    Emilio Bonafacio CF
    Ryan Sweeney LF
    Anthony Rizzo 1B
    Nate Schierholtz DH
    Starlin Castro SS
    Luis Valbuena 3B
    Wellington Castillo C
    Ryan Kalish RF
    Darwin Barney 2B

    Travis Wood LHP (0-1, 2.92)

    YANKEES (8-6)

    Brett Gardner CF
    Derek Jeter SS
    Carlos Beltran DH
    Alfonso Soriano LF
    Yangervis Solarte 2B
    Ichiro Suzuki RF
    Scott Sizemore 3B
    Kelly Johnson 1B
    John Ryan Murphy C

    Michael Pineda RHP (1-1, 1.50)

    Game 14: Yankees vs. Cubs

    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.

    CUBS (4-8)

    Emilio Bonafacio 2B
    Justin Ruggiano CF
    Anthony Rizzo 1B
    Nate Schierholtz RF
    Starlin Castro SS
    Junior Lake LF
    Luis Valbuena 3B
    Mike Olt DH
    John Baker C

    Jason Hammel RHP (2-0, 2.63)

    YANKEES (7-6)

    Brett Gardner LF
    Carlos Beltran RF
    Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    Alfonso Soriano DH
    Brian McCann C
    Yangervis Solarte 2B
    Kelly Johnson 1B
    Dean Anna SS
    Scott Sizemore 3B

    Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.21)

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