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Game 140: Yankees at Rays

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YANKEES (75-64)
Damon LF
Jeter SS
A. Rodriguez 3B
Nady RF
Giambi DH
I. Rodriguez C
Cano 2B
Ransom 1B
Gardner CF
Rasner RHP

RAYS (84-53)
Iwamura 2B
Upton CF
Pena 1B
Floyd DH
Aybar 3B
Hinske LF
Navarro C
Gross RF
Bartlett SS
Kazmir LHP

Darrell Rasner (5-9, 5.08) vs. the Tampa Bay hitters. [2]

Scott Kazmir (10-6, 3.13) vs. the New York hitters. [3]

Notes: The Yankees have won three straight and 5 of 7 overall. … Yankees are 9-5 against the Rays, 5-2 at the Trop. They have outscored the Rays 33-24 on their home field. … The team leaves tonight for Seattle and a night game tomorrow.

THE K MAN: Scott Kazmir is 3-4, 2.76 in 11 career games against the Yankees. In 11 innings this season, he has allowed two runs on eight hits, walked four and struck out 12.

RAZZLE DAZZLE: Darrell Rasner’s scholarship may be up soon. He’s 1-5, 6.20 in his last 12 games, allowing 80 hits (11 homers) over 61 innings.

RESTED AND READY: Mariano Rivera has not pitched since Friday, although he has warmed up a few times. He has not allowed a run in his last 8.2 innings. Great stat via Joel Sherman of the Post: Rivera has struck out 70 and walked 6 over 61.2 innings. That is a ratio of 11.67 strikeouts to every walk. If Rivera finishes at that rate, it would be the second best ratio for any pitcher who has worked 60 innings in a season since 1900. Dennis Eckersley had an 18.25 ratio in 1990 for Oakland.

A-ROD ROARING: Alex Rodriguez is 8 of 13 with seven runs scored, nine RBI and two homers on the road trip. His batting average has climbed to from .306 to .315. His season OPS of .999 is second in the AL to Milton Bradley’s 1.031.

EVERY DAY AN RBI: Jason Giambi has at least one RBI in eight straight games and 14 in the last 11. He has 87 on the season, three fewer than Rodriguez.

TAKE A SEAT: Jose Veras in his last 10.2 innings: 13 hits, 9 earned runs, 8 walks.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Yankees have won six straight on the road.

Back later with some updates.

UPDATE, 5:56 p.m.: Bobby Abreu hurt his left wrist when he slid into second base in the ninth inning last night. After trying to swing in the cage, he was scratched.

Brian Cashman said it was likely they would recall a player from AAA Scranton. The candidates would appear to be Justin Christian or Melky Cabrera.

UPDATE, 6:19 p.m.: Jeremy Bleich made his pro debut today. Baby Bombers.com has the report. [4]

UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Via Brian Cashman, X-rays on Bobby Abreu’s wrist were negative.

UPDATE, 7:18 p.m.: The Yankees need to do what they did with Kazmir back on July 8: Work counts, drive up his pitch count and get him out after five innings. Kazmir threw 97 pitches over five innings in that game. He allowed two runs in a game the Yankees won 5-0.

Of course, Rasner needs to do his part and keep the game close.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Rasner has allowed three runs on five hits in this inning – so far. The Yankees now have one of their 10 relievers up, Alfredo Aceves.

UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: This is certainly a surprise that Rasner is coming out in the second inning. Rasner had been “throwing well” according to manager Joe Girardi during his pregame media session.

Rasner has now allowed 87 hits and 24 walks in his last 62.1 innings.

UPDATE, 8:28 p.m.: Aceves seemed like a good candidate to replace Sidney Ponson in the rotation. But maybe he’ll slide into Rasner’s spot assuming the Yankees are willing to make a change.

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: So, the Yankees don’t have a hit. And they haven’t really come close to one, either.

UPDATE, 8:52 p.m.: Cody Ransom comes through. Of course he did, he’s a .600 hitter.

Wow, Brett Gardner looks overmatched at the plate against Kazmir.

UPDATE, 9:29 p.m.: Kazmir is done. 6 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts. He threw 98 pitches.

UPDATE, 9:38 p.m.: Gardner is 0 for 3 and struck out looking three times. Hard to get a hit unless you swing.

UPDATE, 9:55 p.m.: A little breaking news for you. Brian Cashman has told the beat writers that Melky Cabrera will join the team tomorrow.