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Tonight: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees, series preview

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What's new: The first-place Yankees (32-22), with Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada back in the lineup, are one of the hottest teams in the majors, having won 17 of their past 22. They're the second-highest scoring team in baseball (behind the Rays), and boast the second most homers (84). SS Derek Jeter, who recently snapped a 16-game hitting streak, 1B Mark Teixeira, and 2B Robinson Cano have been in a groove.

Key stat: There has been a home run in all 26 games at the new Yankee Stadium. Entering Thursday, the 91 homers at Yankee Stadium was the second-highest total for a new major-league venue in its first 25 games (Enron Field in 2000 had 95 HRs).

Connections: Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland is a Zephyrhills High and USF product. Rays C Dioner Navarro and bullpen C Bobby Ramos were Yankees players, senior adviser Don Zimmer a coach.

Series history: The Rays won both games in Yankee Stadium this year, leading the season series 3-2. But the Rays' overall record of 65-124 against the Yankees is their second worst against an AL team. They're 28-65 in New York.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Tonight: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees, series preview 06/04/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 5, 2009 6:40am]
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