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:
Odorizzi RHP (3-7, 4.14)
Nuno LHP (2-4, 5.42)