. UP NEXT
What's new: The Yankees have been in a rough stretch, with five straight losses (and nine in their past 12 games) after Sunday's defeat to Boston and a series of controversies, including DH Jorge Posada (and his .165 average) asking out of the lineup Saturday then apologizing Sunday, and MLB looking into questions raised about RHP Bartolo Colon's offseason medical treatment. They are still hitting home runs, with six players with six or more (and Curtis Granderson with a surprising 13), their starting pitching has been better than expected and Mariano Rivera is still getting the final three outs.
Key stat: The Yankees are the only team in the majors with at least five players with 20 or more RBIs.
Connections: Rays DH Johnny Damon and RHP Kyle Farnsworth are former Yankees, as are bullpen coach Bobby Ramos, special assistant Dave Eiland and senior adviser Don Zimmer. … Yanks RHP Rafael Soriano was a Ray last year; pitching coach Larry Rothschild was the first Rays manager.
Series history: Yankees lead 141-79 overall, 66-45 at Trop.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer