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Rays-Yankees preview

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Tonight-Thursday

What's new: LHP CC Sabathia is the latest big-name Yankee to be shut down for the season, joining SS Derek Jeter, OF Brett Gardner, 1B Mark Teixeira, DH Travis Hafner, C Austin Romine and 3B Kevin Youkilis. 3B Alex Rodriguez is in a 3-for-33 skid and OF Curtis Granderson is 10 for his past 60. But 2B Robinson Cano remains a major threat, and OF Alfonso Soriano has been hot since coming over from the Cubs. The rotation is tattered, but the bullpen can still be overpowering. There will be large crowds and plenty of emotion as RHP Mariano Rivera plays his last three games at the Stadium; Yankees have won 12 of past 17 home games.

Key stat: The Yankees have used a franchise-record 56 players this season, including 33 position players (most since the 2004 Royals). Eight made their big-league debuts.

Connections: Rays C Jose Molina and OF Freddy Guzman are former Yankees; N.Y. pitching coach Larry Rothschild was the first Devil Rays manager.

Series history: Rays lead 9-7 this season, Yankees lead 165-107 overall, 90-44 in New York.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Yankees preview 09/23/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 8:45pm]
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  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494