NEW YORK – The Tampa Bay Rays look to build on the momentum gained from winning three of four over the weekend in Baltimore tonight when they begin a three-game series with the New York Yankees in the Bronx.
Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer has a chance to make a little history. With a victory tonight, Archer will join Hall of Famer Walter “The Big Train” Johnson as the only pitchers to begin their careers with five straight wins over the Yankees. Johnson turned that trick in 1907-1908.
The Yankees are starting righty David Phelps (3-4, 4.35).
The Rays enter the game 10-games back of the first-place Blue Jays, a development that has renewed talk of rejoining the playoff race in a division where no team has to separate themselves from the pack.
“I get a good feeling that even as far back as we are right now that nobody has given up in here,” third baseman Evan Longoria said. “The first step to mounting some sort of comeback is that you got to have everybody on board and believing that no matter where you are if you’re not mathematically eliminated that you still have a chance, however realistic or not it may be.”
In a minor move, the Rays claimed RHP Cory Burns off waivers from the Rangers. He was assigned to Double-A Montgomery. The Rays will announce the corresponding move to clear a spot on the 40-man roster at a later time.
Here are the lineups for tonight: