(Sports Network) - Tampa Bay tries to move one step closer to its first series
win in the Bronx in more than three years on Friday when they continue a four-
game set with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Tampa drew first blood on Thursday, as Evan Longoria hit two home runs and
finished with three RBI to pace a 14-hit attack that carried the Rays to an
Yunel Escobar added a pair of hits, including a two-run homer, while Desmond
Jennings went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to help the Rays deal New York its
seventh defeat in nine games.
Matt Moore (9-3) got back on track to toss 6 1/3 effective innings in the
rout. The Tampa lefty had posted a wretched 13.86 ERA in losing his first
three June starts, but held the Yankees' makeshift lineup to three runs and
four hits while walking three.
"It is fun to win. Hopefully we can get some momentum going. We had a tough
stretch over the eight or 10 games. To get two wins in a row is good," said
Moore fared better than Andy Pettitte (5-5), who was reached for five runs and
nine hits before exiting with two outs in the seventh inning.
"I have to figure out, when I'm out on the mound, how to make good pitches and
get guys out. I'm just not doing that great of a job right now," Pettitte
Brett Gardner ended 2-for-3 with a run scored for New York, which managed just
six hits after mustering three singles in a 6-0 loss to the Dodgers in
Wednesday's second game of a doubleheader.
Tampa, which has lost eight straight series in the Bronx, will hand the ball
to right-hander Roberto Hernandez, who is 4-7 with a 5.02 ERA. Hernandez lost
to Kansas City on Sunday, holding them to four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3
Hernandez lost to the Yanks back on May 24 and is just 1-6 lifetime against
them with a 7.50 ERA in 12 games (9 starts).
New York, meanwhile, will counter with righty David Phelps, who is winless in
his last two starts. Phelps lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on
Saturday, as he allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings to fall to 4-4,
while raising his ERA to 4.08.
"They gave me a lead, and I gave it right back," Phelps said after the game.
"Had a chance to go out in the seventh, threw two pitches and gave up a hit.
That's not going to get it done."
Phelps beat Hernandez and the Rays in that May 24 encounter and is 1-0 in five
games (3 starts) against them with a 2.50 ERA.
This is the first time this season these teams are meeting in the Bronx, where
the Rays haven't won in their last eight series. Tampa has won four of its
seven meetings with the Yanks this season.
The Sports Network