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Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at NY Yankees
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, September 4, 2015
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York

Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew, who both suffered through struggles earlier in the season, are providing a major boost to the offense for the New York Yankees of late. The middle infielders are a combined 18-for-27 with 12 RBIs in the last four contests and look to stay hot as the Yankees begin a 10-game homestand with the first of three against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

Drew was batting .192 before his recent surge and Gregorius, who has raised his average from .234 to .272 since July 22, is 16-for-28 during a seven-game hitting streak. The Yankees have won five of six to remain 1 ½ games behind first-place Toronto in the American League East and the Rays are 4 ½ back of Texas for the second AL wild card. Tampa Bay attempts to recover after blowing two leads in a 7-6 loss at Baltimore on Wednesday that ended a three-game win streak. Logan Forsythe is 11-for-14 in his last four contests for Rays.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), YES (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (6-7, 3.18 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (2-2, 2.17)

Odorizzi has gone winless in six consecutive starts since his last victory on July 28 against Detroit, but he allowed three runs or fewer in four of those outings. The Illinois native, who gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Kansas City last time out, owns a 3.68 ERA on the road and 2.61 at home. Brian McCann is 10-for-16 with two homers and nine RBIs versus Odorizzi, who is 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in two games against the Yankees in 2015.

Severino has carved out a spot in the rotation through his first five major-league starts, yielding two or fewer runs four times and completing six innings in the last four. The 21-year-old Dominican has limited opponents to a .200 batting average overall while allowing three runs (two earned) and five hits in 11 innings at home. Severino, who faces the Rays for the first time, boasts 29 strikeouts and 11 walks – 10 in the last three starts – over 29 frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York RF Carlos Beltran is batting .352 with six homers – including his first in 15 games Wednesday – and 17 RBIs since Aug. 4.

2. Tampa Bay C J.P. Arencibia, who was recalled Aug. 26, has registered seven hits in 13 at-bats with two homers and seven RBIs the last four games.

3. The Yankees are 138-2 when leading after eight innings the last two seasons – 69-0 in 2015.

PREDICTION: Rays 5, Yankees 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 66-67 L1 32-33 34-34 26-27 12-17 17-17 11-6
NY Yankees 74-58 W2 37-26 37-32 30-23 18-11 17-16 9-8
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay NY Yankees
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/5/15 TB 8 NYY 1 .281 0 .781 .103 1 .533
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay L. Forsythe .326 14 .937
NY Yankees J. Ellsbury .410 16 .875
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay S. Souza 3 9 6
NY Yankees A. Rodriguez 5 11 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 4.11 .228 124
NY Yankees 3.05 .241 130
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay L. Forsythe .291 134 .823
NY Yankees C. Beltran .282 104 .828
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay E. Longoria 17 56 61
NY Yankees M. Teixeira 31 57 79
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.68 .249 1123
NY Yankees 3.96 .256 1107