New York Yankees (62-59) at Tampa Bay Rays (61-62), 1:40 p.m. (ET)
08/17/2014 9:33 AM
08/17/2014 9:35 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees will finish up a five-game road trip with the final leg in a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday at Tropicana Field.
Trying to recover from five losses in the team's last six games, the Yankees will send veteran pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to combat the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson.
Kuroda has had an up-and-down season in 2014, entering the Sunday contest with a 7-8 record and a 4.03 earned run average. He's been able to maintain a healthy number of strikeouts, though, with 101 on the year.
Kuroda is 0-2 in his last three starts. Last Sunday, Kuroda lasted just 4 2/3 innings against Cleveland after giving up three runs and five hits with four walks.
Pitching against Tampa Bay has never been one of Kuroda's strong points. The 39-year-old right-hander is 2-4 in seven career starts versus the Rays with a 6.07 career ERA against them.
Since returning from elbow surgery late in July, Hellickson has been pretty solid for the Rays in five starts, although he has just a 1-1 record to show for it, but has pitched to a 2.03 ERA.
His most recent start yielded six innings of shutout baseball with six hits and six strikeouts against the Rangers. He earned the no-decision, though, after his Rays dropped the 3-2 contest. Since coming back, Hellickson has allowed either one run or less in four of his five starts.
In six career starts against New York (eight appearances), Hellickson is 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA. He's held Yankee batters to just a .212 average in 42 2/3 innings pitched.
New York took a quick 2-0 lead on Saturday afternoon thanks to a two-run homer from Martin Prado. The Rays managed to tie the score late, but Derek Jeter came through with a clutch RBI hit in the ninth to give the Yankees a 3-2 win.
"I'm not so sure I've heard his name chanted that loud in an opposing stadium this year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Jeter.
It was Jeter's only hit of the ballgame, but the single to right field that scored Brett Gardner was the only thing that mattered to New York. Mark Teixeira was the only Yankee to record two hits in the contest.
Shane Greene got the start for New York and lasted six innings, but Dellin Betances picked up the win and David Robertson got the save. Jake McGee was hit with the loss - his first on the season.
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