Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees game preview

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NEW YORK -- For the first time in nearly 13 years, the New York Yankees will play a game without Alex Rodriguez somewhere in their organization.

A day after Rodriguez's run in New York concluded, the Yankees continue a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon.

"I'm going to miss him, I'm going to miss this guy," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This guy did a lot of great things."

While throngs of media including CNN descended upon Yankee Stadium for Rodriguez's exit from the Yankees, the team will have another noteworthy event Saturday. The Yankees are honoring the 1996 championship team, which began the dynasty they were never able to recapture during the 41-year-old's eventful stint in New York.

Rodriguez played with a few of those members in Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte in New York as well as Jeff Nelson and Tino Martinez in Seattle.

Once the ceremonies end, the Yankees play their first game since Sept. 28, 2003 against Baltimore with Rodriguez not on the active roster, the restricted list or disabled list.

Then the Yankees will try to win their fourth straight game, which would be their second such streak since the All-Star break. New York won four straight July 17-20 but lost 10 of its next 18 games.

After Starlin Castro drove in four runs and Rodriguez had an RBI double in Friday's 6-3 victory, the Yankees (59-56) have a chance to equal a season high by getting four games over .500 while Rodriguez apparently prepares for life as an advisor to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.

"I have a lot of faith in our group," Rodriguez said. "Give those guys a lot of credit. We've played hard down the stretch. A lot of things have happened, but I think Hal has set the tone for us. He said we're still in this race and I believe him.

"That comment probably wouldn't have been a realistic comment 10 years ago but the way baseball is today, crazier things have happened. There is a lot of talent in that clubhouse."

While Rodriguez will be relaxing away from Yankee Stadium, the Yankees have not announced who will replace him on the roster. Reports from Scranton said Tyler Austin is expected to join the Yankees after he batted .323 in 53 games there this season.

Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound on five days' rest Saturday because of Monday's off day and numbers show he is better with longer rest. In 12 starts on extended rest, Tanaka is 6-1 with a 2.56 ERA.

Tanaka started on four days rest Sunday and produced one of his best outings of the season, allowing one run and six hits over six-plus innings during a 3-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. It marked the 15th time he allowed two earned runs or fewer.

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five starts against Tampa Bay.

The Rays swept the Yankees two weekends ago at home but have dropped seven of 11 since. Evan Longoria drove in two runs and hit his 15th home run at Yankee Stadium but the Rays struck out 12 times Friday.

Being the opponent for the 1996 celebration is nothing new for the Rays. Besides this weekend, Tampa Bay has been the visiting team when Mariano Rivera appeared in his final game in 2013 and when Derek Jeter had his 3,000th hit in 2011.

Matt Andriese makes his 11th start for the Rays on Saturday afternoon against the Yankees and looks to break a three-game losing streak. He started 6-0 but despite allowing three runs or fewer in seven straight starts, Andriese has been unable to get a win.

He last pitched Sunday against Minnesota when he allowed three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in three career appearances against the Yankees.