Rays-Yankees preview

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vs. Yankees

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What's new: The Yankees (10-7) are off to a surprisingly good start considering all their injured stars, with SS Derek Jeter (ankle) and 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip) not expected back until after the All-Star break, and CF Curtis Granderson (forearm) and 1B Mark Teixeira (wrist) also on the DL. The Yankees, buoyed by star 2B Robinson Cano and new additions such as DH Travis Hafner, OF Vernon Wells and 3B Kevin Youkilis, still boast one of the league's top offenses. More importantly, New York is pitching well.

Key stat: The Rays have won 11 of 13 against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

Connections: DH/OF Shelley Duncan and RHP Kyle Farnsworth are former Yankees, senior adviser Don Zimmer a former bench coach and hitting coach Derek Shelton a former minor-league catcher and coach. Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild is a former Rays manager, and OF Ben Francisco played for Tampa Bay in 2012.

Series history: The Rays won last year's series 10-8, including 7-2 at the Trop. The Yankees lead overall 158-98, 71-58 in St. Petersburg.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Rays-Yankees preview 04/21/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 8:22pm]

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