The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees will fight to take this week’s series in tonight’s third and final game of the match up. The Rays came out on top 5-1 in Monday’s game, but fell short last night in a close 4-3 rout from the Yankees at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay managed to keep the Yankees at a 2-2 tie until the final stretch, with New York’s Ichiro Suzuki coming out of character with a two-run single in the ninth to secure the lead.
Suzuki has struggled this season hitting just a .220, but he went 2-4 with two RBI in last night’s game. Before his big hit that gave the Yankees the 4-2 lead, the right fielder singled with one out in the eighth, went to third on Jayson Nix’s single to left, and then he scored to get the Yankees even when Brett Gardner hit a grounder to second.
The Rays’ losing pitcher and AL Cy Young Award winner David Price is off to a rough 0-2 start on the season. Price allowed three runs and eight hits over eight-plus innings last night, while New York starting pitcher Phil Hughes allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano ended Price’s night with a leadoff single in the ninth. The game was then handed over to Tampa Bay relief pitcher Fernando Rodney. With Tampa Bay going winless in all five of his starts this year, Price believes his recent performances make him feel at fault for the team’s losses.
New York still faces a disadvantage of injuries that affect tonight’s lineup. Shortstop Derek Jeter is suffering from his second fractured ankle in six months, infielder Kevin Youkilis’s lower back is keeping him out of the starting lineup, and Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira is still out with a wrist injury.
Andy Pettitte will start on the mound for New York tonight, while Alex Cobb will start for Tampa Bay. First pitch at Tropicana Field is set for 7:10 p.m.