Yankees at Rays
Evan Longoria looks to follow up a huge night at the plate when his Tampa Bay Rays host the American League East-rival New York Yankees on Saturday for the middle contest of a three-game series. Longoria, who owns more RBIs against the Yankees (102) than any other active player in the majors, collected four hits and knocked in the winning run in Friday’s 5-4 victory - Tampa Bay’s fifth in seven games.
Longoria was 0-for-10 with five strikeouts in his previous two games and came back strong after a day off to lead an offense that also received two RBIs from Logan Morrison, who boasts a six-game hitting streak. Masahiro Tanaka attempts to cool off the Rays after losing for the first time in seven decisions against them on Opening Day, when he gave up seven runs over just 2 2/3 innings, and he will oppose fellow right-hander Matt Andriese. Slugger Aaron Judge brings a seven-game hitting streak into Saturday’s contest after going 1-for-4 on Friday while Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury own six-game streaks after each registered a pair of hits for the Yankees. New York catcher Gary Sanchez, who is 7-for-16 during a four-game hitting streak, was rested Friday and should be back in the lineup for the second contest of the series.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, YES (New York), FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 5.80 ERA) vs. Rays RH Matt Andriese (3-1, 3.18)
Tanaka had posted four quality starts in five games before getting pounded by Houston last Sunday when he allowed eight runs, including four homers, over 1 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old Japan native had given up 11 earned runs in the previous five contests, but has surrendered seven homers in the last three games after permitting three in the first five. Kevin Kiermaier is 6-for-12 with a homer against Tanaka, who owns a career 3.79 ERA versus the Rays.
Andriese yielded three runs or fewer in seven straight starts after giving up two runs and four hits over five innings in the victory over Boston on Sunday. The 27-year-old Californian’s pitch count has risen of late after issuing 12 walks the past four outings - five more than he allowed in the season’s first four appearances. Judge is 3-for-7 with a homer and Aaron Hicks 3-for-5 with a pair of blasts against Andriese, who gave up one run on five hits in a no-decision versus New York on April 13.
1. Tampa Bay OF-DH Cory Dickerson had two hits Friday and has homered eight times in the leadoff spot this season - the most in franchise history before June.
2. New York DH Matt Holliday boasts eight RBIs in his last six games after belting a two-run homer Friday that tied the game 4-4 in the eighth inning.
3. The Rays placed INF Brad Miller (abdomen) on the 10-day disabled list and acquired UTIL Michael Martinez from Cleveland for a player to be named later.