What's new: Since the All-Star break, the Yankees have won nine of 13 to maintain the majors' best record. 2B Robinson Cano has emerged as an MVP candidate, 1B Mark Teixeira has warmed, and they still have 3B Alex Rodriguez and SS Derek Jeter. There are some flaws. They're working to replace injured LHP Andy Pettitte in the rotation and mixing and matching a bit at DH, and they remain a little shaky in middle relief. There's still time for a trade or two.
Key stat: The Yankees lead the majors with 33 come-from-behind wins, including 28 when their opponent scored the first run.
Connections: Rays LHP Randy Choate is a former Yankee, as are bullpen coach Bobby Ramos and senior adviser Don Zimmer; Yankees reliever Chad Gaudin and pitching coach Dave Eiland are former Rays.
Series history: Season series is 4-4; Yankees lead 137-73 overall (though 57-42 the last six years) and 62-40 at the Trop.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer