Series: Game 2 of 3

Tampa Bay leads 2-0 (as of 7/27)

Game 1: Friday, July 26
Tampa Bay10Final
NY Yankees6
Game 2: Saturday, July 27
Tampa Bay1Final
NY Yankees0
Game 3: Sunday, July 28
Tampa Bay5Final
NY Yankees6

Rays 1

(62-42, 28-23 away)

Yankees 0

(54-50, 28-25 home)

    Coverage:  YES

    1:05 PM ET, July 27, 2013

    Yankee Stadium, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 000001000 1 8 1
    NYY 000000000 0 2 0

    W: C. Archer (6-3)

    L: I. Nova (4-4)

    Rays-Yankees Preview


    The Tampa Bay Rays' rotation is the primary reason they've surged to the top of the AL East.

    The New York Yankees are hoping Alfonso Soriano can provide a spark with Derek Jeter sidelined at least one more game.

    Rookie Chris Archer will try to keep the Rays rolling by winning a fifth straight decision against the foundering Yankees on Saturday.

    Tampa Bay (61-42) has gotten a 2.13 ERA from the rotation, which has held opponents to .208 at the plate during a staggering 20-3 stretch that has vaulted the team atop the division.

    The Rays are one-half game ahead of Boston after trailing by as many as seven on June 28.

    Jeremy Hellickson turned in the latest strong performance Friday, yielding one run and four hits in six innings of a 10-6 win over the Yankees (54-49).

    Archer (5-3, 2.76 ERA) has been a vital contributor to Tampa Bay's surge, going 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA over his last six starts and winning the last three behind a 0.41 ERA. The rookie right-hander began his four-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium on June 23, yielding one run in six innings in his only career meeting with New York.

    He was impressive Sunday, allowing one run in seven innings of a 4-3 win at Toronto.

    "I've realized where my potential is and I'm striving for that every time out," Archer said.

    While the Rays are the hottest team in baseball, the Yankees are scuffling through a 3-7 stretch.

    New York is hitting .226 with no homers and 14 runs while dropping three of five. The team showed some signs of breaking out Friday with 11 hits but was unable to overcome a 10-1 deficit the final two innings.

    The Yankees are hoping Soriano can begin making a difference. They acquired him from the Chicago Cubs on Friday, and he went 0 for 5 with one run and one RBI while batting cleanup.

    "He's not the same player he used to be," general manager Brian Cashman said, "but he certainly provides some thunder from the right side that we've been lacking."

    Pressure seems to be building on Cashman to find personnel to help the Yankees cut into their seven-game deficit to the Rays.

    "We've obviously been trying to improve our offense, to no avail, throughout this season," Cashman said. "By far, (Soriano) is the best available bat to date."

    New York could get a significant lift when Derek Jeter (right quadriceps) comes off the disabled list. He is eligible to be activated Saturday, but a decision won't be made until after he plays a simulated game that day.

    The Yankees send Ivan Nova (4-3, 3.66) to the mound, and he's compiled a 2.55 ERA in seven games -- four starts -- since sitting out nearly a month with right triceps inflammation. Despite pitching better, he has just a 3-2 record to show for it since he's been backed by one total run in those defeats.

    Nova didn't get any help Monday, when he allowed three runs in seven innings of a 3-0 loss at Texas.

    His previous loss came to Archer, yielding three runs in 6 2/3 innings as his four-game home winning streak against the Rays ended.

    Nova is 6-2 with a 2.27 ERA over his last eight overall games versus Tampa Bay.

    Rays rookie Wil Myers has seven straight multihit games, going 15 for 30 with seven RBIs and six runs. The right fielder is 8 for 23 (.348) with five RBIs in five meetings with New York.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     Tampa BayNew York
    Current StreakW2W3
    Last 108-25-5

    Pitching Matchup

    Tampa BayNew York
    C. Archer
    9-7, 3.22 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at TOR
    2.1 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = ND
    I. Nova
    9-6, 3.10 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/26 vs TB
    7.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Tampa BayNew York
    1. D. Jennings, CF B. Gardner, CF
    2. E. Longoria, 3B I. Suzuki, RF
    3. W. Myers, RF R. Cano, 2B
    4. J. Loney, 1B A. Soriano, DH
    5. B. Zobrist, 2B L. Overbay, 1B
    6. M. Joyce, DH V. Wells, LF
    7. K. Johnson, LF E. Nunez, SS
    8. J. Molina, C B. Lillibridge, 3B
    9. Y. Escobar, SS C. Stewart, C

    Research Notes

    From Elias: Chris Archer is 4th rookie to throw a 1-0 shutout vs Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
    For the 2nd year in a row, a pitcher threw a shutout at Yankee Stadium in a 1-0 win, something that hadn't happened for 23 years before last season.
    From Elias: Chris Archer is 5th rookie to throw a shutout allowing 2 hits or fewer vs Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
    Chris Archer: 1st visiting pitcher with a 1-0 shutout at Yankee Stadium, allowing 2 hits or fewer AND no walks since Wes Ferrell, 1935 Red Sox. Ferrell and Archer are the only 2 pitchers with such a shutout.
    * That's the 3rd shutout by a Rays pitcher under the age of 25 this season (Archer has 2, Matt Moore has 1)... The other 29 teams have 4 such games combined this season. * It's the 9th shutout by a Rays pitcher under 25 since the start of the 2008 season, the most in the major leagues. Those shutouts have been thrown by 7 different pitchers, more than twice as many as any other team... The Giants (3) are the only other team with more than 2 pitchers under 25 to throw a shutout in that span.
    Chris Archer is 4th visiting pitcher age 24 or younger to throw a shutout allowing 2 hits or fewer at Yankee Stadium in the last 30 years.
    One neat twist for Chris Archer: Archer is the 1st visiting pitcher with a shutout, allowing two hits or fewer AND no walks at Yankee Stadium since Neil Allen of the 1986 White Sox. Normally, the inclusion of Neil Allen's name would not merit excitement, save for a neat coincidence. Allen is the pitching coach for the Rays Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, the team for which Archer began his season.
    From Elias: Chris Archer is 2nd rookie starter in last 35 years to beat Yankees twice in a season at Yankee Stadium, joining Miguel Gonzalez (2012 Orioles).
    Chris Archer became the first pitcher in Rays history to throw a complete-game shutout against the Yankees on Saturday. Archer only threw 97 pitches, the third fewest by a Rays pitcher in a shutout in the team's history.
    Chris Archer made his final start in July today and finishes the month with a 0.73 ERA, the lowest by any rookie pitcher in July (min. 35 IP)
    How good have the Rays starters been in their last 24 games? They have essentially been pitching at a Cy Young level. Check out how similar their stats are to Pedro Martinez's great 1999 Cy Young season.
    Chris Archer is the 1st Rays pitcher to throw 2 shutouts in a single month.

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