Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Marcus Thames RF
Juan Miranda 1B
Randy Winn LF
RHP A.J. Burnett (4-1, 3.31)
Career vs. Rays
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist RF
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Hank Blalock DH
John Jaso C
Reid Brignac 2B
RHP Wade Davis (3-3, 3.38)
Career vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./YES Network and ESPN
UMPIRES: HP Jeff Nelson, 1B Larry Vanover, 2B Mark Carlson, 3B Angel Campos
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 60s. There are plenty of clouds but only a very slight chance of rain.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: After last night’s game, the Yankees are now 0-4 in one-run games. They are the only team in the major’s without a one-run victory. They have played the fewest one-run games in the majors, with Arizona and Cleveland as the only other teams to have played fewer than eight.
UNUSUAL NIGHT: The Yankees made two costly errors last night, but they have committed only 15 this season, the second fewest in baseball. They are 21-7 in games without an error but just 4-7 when they do make a mistake. Since Joe Girardi became manager, the Yankees have a .986 fielding percentage that’s second best in the American League.
WELCOME LORI: Lori Baur will serve as the Yankees honorary bat girl tonight. She was on the field for batting practice, she’ll help deliver the lineup card to home plate and she’ll throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Lori was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago at the age of 32. She has since been active in promoting breast cancer research and awareness.
UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Second pitch of the game, Jason Bartlett’s first home run of the season. It’s a quick 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: As Brett Gardner is picked off first base I wanted to mention that Sam and I will be chatting on Friday at 1 p.m. Stop by.
UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Two walks and a hit batter have Burnett on the ropes here in the third. One out and bases loaded for the hearth of the order.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: And a sac fly makes it 2-0.
UPDATE, 8:26 p.m.: Things haven’t gotten much better since that lead-off homer. Burnett has allowed two singles, two doubles and a double steal this inning. He hasn’t been able to right the ship and the Rays have a 5-0 lead.
UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: One more hit for the Rays. One more run for the Rays. Mark Melancon is now getting loose and it’s a 6-0 Tampa Bay lead.
UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: There’s just not a lot to say about this game that doesn’t speak for itself. Burnett got through the fifth inning scoreless, and the Yankees scored a run on Cervelli’s sac fly in the fourth, but this is a 6-1 game that feels every bit like a 6-1 game. Not a lot of offense from the Yankees, not many good innings from Burnett.
UPDATE, 9:12 p.m.: Burnett’s now pitched consecutive scoreless innings, but it’s those first four innings that are making a difference.
UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: Alex Rodriguez goes deep, pulls the Yankees within 6-2.
UPDATE, 9:23 p.m.: Seriously, this has gotten ridiculous. Thames pulled up lame on his single — he seemed to step on his own bat on the way to first — and now he’s out of the game. Ramiro Pena, the Yankees only healthy bench player, has come off the bench to pinch run.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Thames has a sprained left ankle. Pena is staying in the game to play right field. Before today’s game, the Yankees had him take extra fly balls in left and right just in case this situation presented itself. I saw Pena play center field a few times in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year and was impressed by how good he looked out there.
UPDATE, 9:46 p.m.: Ramiro Pena makes the catch for the last out of the seventh, then smiles all the way back to the dugout. Looked like Cano was joking with him on the way in. Still 6-2 Rays.
UPDATE, 10:00 p.m.: That was ruled an RBI double for Brignac, with no error on Winn who slightly bobbled the ball in left field. It was also the last pitch of the night for Boone Logan, and Mark Melancon will now give it a shot. Rays are leading 7-2.
UPDATE, 10:13 p.m.: Melancon has allowed three hits and two more runs, plus there was just an all out fist fight in the stands in left field. We’ve reached that point.
UPDATE, 10:14 p.m.: That’s new. Carlos Pena just flied out to center field, where Gardner made a terrific catch. As Gardner tumbled, though, Ben Zobrist was able to tag up and score from second base. It’s now 10-2 Rays. Melancon is getting hit. Hard.
UPDATE, 10:50 p.m.: Another pitching change for the Rays, who apparently have Joe Girardi managing for the night. The Yankees still have a long way to go, but six straight batters have reached base to pull within 10-6 with two outs and the tying run on deck.