9/22 – Yankees vs. Rays

It’s another nice night for baseball here in the South Bronx, as the Yankees and Rays get ready to do battle in game three of this four-game battle for first place in the American League East.


The Yankees’ victory last night ensured that no matter what happens in the next two games, the Rays will be leaving town looking up at the Yankees in first place. New York’s advantage is 2 1/2 games entering play tonight, with Wade Davis and A.J. Burnett set to take the mound.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

RAYS (89-61)

John Jaso DH, Ben Zobrist CF, Carl Crawford LF, Evan Longoria 3B, Dan Johnson 1B, Matt Joyce RF, Jason Bartlett SS, Reid Brignac 3B, Dioner Navarro C.

Wade Davis RHP (12-9, 4.19)

YANKEES (92-59)
Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez 3B, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Lance Berkman DH, Curtis Granderson CF, Francisco Cervelli C.
A.J. Burnett RHP (10-13, 5.08)

  • Frankie Babilonia, the security guard who caught Alex Rodriguez’s 600th homer, has been presented with a $10,000 check from Securitas.
  • DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES: The Yankees will host a bone marrow drive tonight from 5:00 p.m. until the top of the seventh inning on the Main Level behind home plate (between Sections 217-223)…the New York Blood Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital staffs will be on hand to administer a simple swab from inside participant’s cheek, allowing them to be added to the Be The Match Registry, in which patients can find a marrow match.

  • SPECIAL GUESTS FROM OVERSEAS: The Yankees are welcoming special guests from the China Youth Baseball League (CYBL) for tonight’s game…winners of the 28th Boys Nankyu World Championship Tournament in Tokyo, the Beijing Xinxing Longren Baseball Club, which has given athletic and academic opportunities to children from severely disadvantaged rural and migrant-poor backgrounds, including many orphans, will be on hand to watch Yankees batting practice from the field and throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch.

  • AT A GLANCE: The Yankees will play the third game of a four-game series vs. the Tampa Bay Rays tonight…are 2-0 to start their seven-game homestand – the final homestand of the season…face Boston in their final regular season home series from Friday-Sunday…just completed a nine-game, 10-day road trip that matched the team’s longest of the season (also 9G, 4/20-29), going to Texas (0-3), Tampa Bay (1-2) and Baltimore (2-1)…are 30-13-5 in series in 2010, the most series wins in the Majors this season…the Yankees are playing their final 19 games against AL East opponents (5-3 thus far)…are 36-27 since the All-Star break, winning 21 of their last 33 games…are 33 games over .500, three games shy of their season high-water mark…the Yankees’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three.

  • A VIEW FROM THE TOP: Over the last two seasons, the Yankees have spent 195 days in first place, including 103 in 2010. 

  • DYNAMIC DUO: With LHP CC Sabathia (20-6) and RHP Phil Hughes (17-8), the Yankees have at least two pitchers with at least 17 wins in a season for the first time since 2006 (Chien-Ming Wang-19 and Randy Johnson-17)…the last time the Yankees featured at least two pitchers with at least 17 wins-each 30 years old or younger-was the 1978 World Champions with Ron Guidry (25-3) and Ed Figueroa (20-9).

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The battle no one wants to win
By Mike Axisa


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