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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. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

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

  3. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.

  5. Urban Meyer says the Big Ten is now the equal of the SEC

    College

    CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer doesn't just believe the Big Ten has closed the gap with the more heralded SEC. He is convinced the race is a dead heat already.

    Ohio State’s Urban Meyer says the Big Ten East is as strong as the SEC East was when he coached UF to two national titles.