For starters, Rays at Yankees and potential history
The Rays are in New York for the opening of a four-game series that takes them to the All-Star break, but the bigger national story is Yankees SS Derek Jeter's pursuit of 3,000 hits, as he needs only three more.
The Rays have already made one roster move today, putting inconsistent starter Wade Davis on the 15-day DL due to a forearm strain and recalling reliever Brandon Gomes. Since Davis wasn't going to start again until after the break, the move fortifies the Rays bullpen for the next four days anyway.
Also to be updated today is the condition of DH Johnny Damon who had a bruised, swollen and discolored left hand after being hit by a Francisco Liriano pitch on Wednesday. Initial x-rays did not show a break, but the Rays were considering sending Damon for further tests today.
Jeff Niemann will be on the mound for the Rays tonight, and he has experience with Jeter and milestones.
Niemann – against whom Jeter is 5-for-9 – was on the Yankee Stadium mound Sept. 9, 2009, and allowed Jeter’s 2,721st hit, a single that tied Lou Gehrig’s record for the most hits as a Yankee. "Hopefully I've already done my part,'' Niemann said.