American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 8th (All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (19-10) at New York Yankees (15-13), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - James Shields (5-0, 3.05) New York - Ivan Nova (3-1, 5.58)
(Sports Network) - James Shields tries to match a team record with his sixth straight win this evening when the Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Shields won his fifth consecutive start on Wednesday against Seattle, as he allowed four runs (one earned) and four hits in six innings. He did walk four batters and struck out a season-high 11, while lowering his earned run average to 3.05.
Scott Kazmir set team record with six straight wins in 2008.
Shields was hit hard by the Yanks in a no-decision earlier in the year to the tune of six runs in five innings. He's also just 5-11 lifetime against them with a 4.39 ERA in 21 starts.
"You definitely have to be careful of the right-field wall, but for the most part, you have to concentrate on their hitters, who are dangerous no matter where you're playing them," Shields said.
Tampa enters tonight's opener after dropping two of three to Oakland over the weekend, including a 9-5 setback in Sunday's finale at Tropicana Field.
Rays starter Matt Moore (1-2) was shelled for eight runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. B.J. Upton smacked a solo shot and Matt Joyce finished with three hits and two RBI as the Rays dropped the final two games of the series on the heels of a six-game win streak.
"Regardless of the last two games," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, "it was a great homestand with a little adversity strapped to our backs."
New York, meanwhile, saw its offense erupt on Sunday in Kansas City, as Robinson Cano hit a grand slam in the Yankees' 10-4 win. Alex Rodriguez added a three-run homer and Nick Swisher also went deep for the Yankees, who had managed just 13 runs in their six previous games.
Phil Hughes (2-4) allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven through 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Tonight, the Yanks turn to righty Ivan Nova, who lost for the first time in 15 decisions his last time out. Nova was beaten by Baltimore on Wednesday, as he allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings to fall for the first time since June of last season. He is 3-1 this year with a 5.58 ERA.
Nova is 2-0 with a 3.47 ERA in four career starts against the Rays.
The Rays swept the Yanks in a three-game set to start the season.
05/08 11:00:12 ET