American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, June 20th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (37-35) at New York Yankees (39-32), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (8-3, 4.12) New York - Andy Pettitte (5-4, 3.95)
(Sports Network) - Matt Moore will try to reverse his recent slide on Thursday, as the Tampa Bay Rays pay a visit to Yankee Stadium to begin a four- game set with the New York Yankees.
Moore has allowed a whopping 19 earned runs over his last 12 1/3 innings and has lost three straight after starting the season 8-0. In his last outing, he was tagged for five runs on seven hits and walked four in 5 1/3 innings against Kansas City on Friday.
Despite the rough patch over the last couple of weeks, the second-year lefty is confident he can turn things around.
"Every year I've ever played, I've had ups and downs," Moore said. "We've prepared, and I feel good about this one, as far as preparation of where I was last week. I like the way I feel."
For the Yankees, veteran Andy Pettitte is also looking to rebound after giving up a season-high 11 hits against the Angels on Friday. Despite turning 41 over the weekend, the veteran southpaw said he continues to feel good on the mound.
"It was frustrating," Pettitte said of his last outing. "I felt pretty good, but my command definitely wasn't quite where I wanted it to be... You've got to make quality pitches. I was just trying to be real aggressive with all of my pitches."
Pettitte faced Tampa Bay on April 24 and struck out a season-high 10 batters in six innings, but the Rays went on to win that game, 3-0. He is 12 strikeouts shy of tying Whitey Ford's franchise record of 1,956.
New York has lost six of its last eight games. Still, the Yankees entered Thursday within 3 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Red Sox. They faced two lefties in Wednesday's doubleheader with the Dodgers, as they bested Hyun-Jin Ryu to win Game 1, 6-4, before falling to Chris Capuano in the nightcap, 6-0.
Tampa Bay has also lost six of eight after dropping two of three in Boston this week. They avoided a sweep by winning Wednesday's series finale, 6-2, as they out-hit Boston, 15-7. Desmond Jennings hit his ninth homer and prized prospect Wil Myers drove in a pair of runs. Still, the Rays are just 7-for-51 (.137) with runners in scoring position over their past eight games.
This is the first time this season these teams are meeting in the Bronx, where the Rays are 0 for their last eight series. New York and Tampa Bay have split six meetings this season - all at Tropicana Field.
06/20 10:32:41 ET