Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Raul Ibanez LF
Russell Martin C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chris Dickerson CF
LHP CC Sabathia (13-4, 3.40)
Sabathia vs. Rays
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Ben Zobrist DH
Evan Longoria 3B
Jeff Keppinger 1B
Ben Francisco RF
Ryan Raburn 2B
Chris Gimenez C
Elliot Johnson SS
RHP James Shields (12-8, 3.91)
Shields vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:10 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
WEATHER: Pretty warm outside, but here in the dome, it’s nice and comfortable.
UMPIRES: HP Todd Tichenor, 1B Tony Randazzo, 2B Bob Davidson, 3B Brian Gorman
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Yankees are 28-15 (.651) in series openers this season but have lost three of their last four. They have lost the first game of the road trip on each of their last five trips and are 4-7 in such games in 2012.
NEED SOME HITS: The Yankees were held to six hits or less in each of their three games against Baltimore over the weekend. The three-game stretch matches their longest stretch of being held to six hits or fewer over the last 20 years (20th time since 1993, second this season — also May 15-17). It?was the first time the same team held the Yankees to six or less in each game of a series of at least three games since Tampa Bay from July 30 through August 1, 2010 at Tropicana Field.
HAPPY LABOR DAY: The Yankees are 34-27 on Labor Day in the Expansion Era. They are playing Tampa Bay for the third time on Labor Day, having played them three times on the day prior to this year (won, 7-4, on September 6, 2004 at the original Yankee Stadium and swept a doubleheader on September 7, 2009 at the current Yankee Stadium, 4-1 and 11-10).
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Slumping Ichiro strikes out to leave runners at the corners. Still scoreless heading into the bottom of the second.
UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: RBI single is the Rays third hit this inning, and it puts them in front 1-0.
UPDATE, 1:53 p.m.: Hardest hit balls were outs that inning, but the Rays got three singles and a run out of it.
UPDATE, 2:01 p.m.: Solo homer for Upton and it’s 2-0 Rays.
UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: Cano doubles for the Yankees first hit, Rodriguez gets a single through the middle of the infield and Chavez delivers a sac fly. Just like that it’s 2-1 in the fourth.
UPDATE, 2:16 p.m.: Martin hustling out of the box is the only reason the Yankees have a lead right now. Keppinger thought he had time to look back the runner at third, but Martin was off and running, Keppinger had to scramble and the Rays didn’t get either out.
UPDATE, 2:48 p.m.: Grounder to short brings in another run in the bottom of the fifth. Walk and a single really did the damage this inning, and the Rays have tied it at 3.
UPDATE, 3:32 p.m.: It hasn’t always been pretty, but Sabathia is through seven innings with the game tied at 3. The Rays are bringing Brignac off the bench to improve the infield defense. Also, the Rays are into their bullpen. (Obviously no word on whether Longoria is out for a specific reason)
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Swisher hits into a double play. Now two outs and the bases empty for Cano in the eighth. (also, not actually into the Rays bullpen, just up and going)
UPDATE, 3:46 p.m.: Cano wasn’t running out of the box, and the Rays got away with a cheap out to end the eighth without going to their bullpen. That really seemed like one batter too long for Shields, but it worked out for Tampa Bay and the game is still tied at 3. Here’s Robertson for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 4:00 p.m.: That’s a two-out, go-ahead single by September call-up Chris Gimenez. I honestly have no idea why he was even allowed to take the at-bat — surely there’s a better hitter on the bench — but he came through with a ball through the right side of the infield and it’s a 4-3 Rays lead.