Tune in at 7:10 PM ET as the Yankees take on the Rays. Callum Hughson will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
With two of their top starting pitchers missing, the New York Yankees could sorely use some better performances from Freddy Garcia than the last time he was in the rotation.
A visit to the struggling Tampa Bay Rays might help Garcia ease back into a starting role and enable the Yankees to end their seven-game skid at Tropicana Field tonight.
New York (48-30) suffered two big blows Thursday when All-Star CC Sabathia (groin) and Andy Pettitte (ankle) landed on the disabled list. The Yankees didn't get much help from emergency call-up Adam Warren the following night in his major league debut, a 14-7 defeat to the Chicago White Sox that got so out of hand that outfielder Dewayne Wise had to pitch the ninth inning.
The Yankees are hoping Garcia (2-2, 6.39 ERA) will serve as a better stopgap when they give him the ball for his first start since April 28. The veteran right-hander was 0-2 with a 12.51 ERA over the first month of the season and didn't make it out of the second inning in the final two of his four starts.
Garcia, though, thrived after being sent to the bullpen, posting a 1.56 ERA in 10 appearances.
The right-hander probably couldn't ask for a much better opponent for his return to the rotation than the Rays (41-38). Garcia has won three consecutive starts against Tampa Bay and has posted a 1.32 ERA over the last two matchups, both on the road.
He scattered eight hits, walked none and struck out seven over 6 2/3 innings of a 4-0 win at Tropicana Field last July 20.
This time, Garcia will face a team that has batted .210 and been outscored 39-17 while losing six of seven. Tampa Bay rallied to tie Sunday's game against Detroit on Jose Molina's fifth-inning double but gave up two runs in the sixth en route to a 5-3 defeat.
The Yankees have won four of six over the Rays overall, but all those games came in the Bronx. They suffered a three-game sweep to open the season April 6-8 at Tampa Bay.
However, New York has now won 11 of its last 13 road games and seven of nine overall. Robinson Cano's two-run homer was the big hit in Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
The four-time All-Star second baseman is batting .377 with nine homers and 16 RBIs over his last 14 games.
Cano and his teammates may be in for a challenge against Matt Moore (4-5, 4.19), who had a career-best 11 strikeouts and pitched five scoreless innings in his lone matchup with New York on Sept. 22.
The left-hander enters this start seeking a fourth consecutive victory, but he wasn't exactly dominant in his most recent outing. Moore gave up four runs, a career-high 10 hits, and two walks over 7 1/3 innings of the Rays' 5-4 loss at Kansas City on Wednesday.
Cano is batting .382 against the Rays this season and .323 lifetime with 21 homers, tied for his most against any opponent.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
We're moments away from the first pitch from Tampa rookie Matt Moore. He'll face Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira in the top of the 1st.
Jeter splits the outfielders as he hits a double to the gap that one-hops off the outfield fence. That's Jeter's 99th hit this season. That will bring up Curtis Granderson.
Matt Moore has free-and-easy heat. His first pitch to Granderson, a fastball, was clocked at 96mph.
Granderson grounds out to 1B; Jeter advances to 3B. Mark Teixeira will step to the plate.
Teixeira hits a high flyball to right-field; Hideki Matsui misjudges it and lets the ball drop directly to his right for the error. Jeter scores, Teixeira safe at 2B. Alex Rodriguez will bat.
A-Rod lines a single into CF; Teixeira advances to 3B. Robinson Cano will bat with runners on the corners at 1 out.
Cano turns around a 97mph fastball and sends it right back through the middle for a base hit. Teixeira scores and the Yankees take a 2-0 lead.
With runners on 1st & 2nd, Nick Swisher comes to the plate.
Swisher is hitting .270 on the season, but only .243 right-handed, which he is doing right now.
Swisher grounds into the double play to end the New York threat in the top of the 1st. Jennings, Pena and Upton will bat for the Rays in the home-half of the inning.
Contrasting the Rays' Matt Moore, the Yankees' starting pitcher Freddy Garcia tops out at 88mph. It doesn't matter: he gets Desmond Jennings to ground out for the 1st out of the inning. That brings up Carlos Pena.
Carlos is hitting only .199 on the year. Yikes.
After working the count full, Pena lifts a deep flyball to CF for the 2nd out. BJ Upton steps to the plate.
Upton hits a sinking line drive to RF but Nick Swisher is there to make a diving catch. Nice play... and the inning is over.
Jones, Nix and Stewart will bat for the Yankees in the top of the 2nd.
Andruw Jones flies out to shallow left field for out #1. That will bring up shortstop Jayson Nix.
Nix flies out to left. Yankee catcher Chris Stewart will bat with 2 out.
Stewart hits the ball hard to the glove side of Will Rhymes but it sneaks underneath for a single... or error? It's ruled a hit. It's back to the top of the Yankee order with Derek Jeter.
Jeter strikes out swinging on a filthy curveball for the 3rd out. To the bottom of the 2nd we go. The Rays will send Matsui, Zobrist and Scott to the plate.
Jeff Keppinger will replace Hideki Matsui in the game. It looks like Matsui tweaked something in his leg when chasing down a foul ball.
Keppinger takes the first pitch he sees and laces it into left field for a leadoff single. That brings up Ben Zobrist.
Zobrist hits a towering fly ball but it doesn't have the legs - Swisher tracks it down for out #1. Luke Scott now comes to the plate.