MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
NY Yankees0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 011
Tampa Bay2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 x 490
  W: C. Morton (16-6)   L: J. Loaisiga (2-2)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 25, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 20,390

Rays try to keep momentum against Yankees

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. The Yankees play their final division games of the season when they visit Tampa Bay. They've gone 12-5 against the Rays this season and are a major league-best 54-20 against their own division this year. That .730 winning percentage is the highest by any team against its own division in the wild-card era.
  2. The Yankees hit the eight-run mark for the sixth time in their last 12 games Sunday. They are tied with the Astros for the most games plating at least eight with 42, New York's most since having 45 in 2009.
  3. Brett Gardner homered again Sunday, and is tied with the Astros' George Springer for the AL lead with nine homers this month. This comes after Gardner hit 10 homers in 65 games in June, July and August.
  4. The Rays have gone 17-6 since August 29, tied with the A's for the best record in the AL in that span. Their 5.8 runs per game since August 29 is fourth-highest in MLB. This comes after they averaged 4.3 runs in their previous 23 games, the sixth-worst in MLB from August 3-28.
  5. Austin Meadows had his third straight two-hit game Monday, and is batting .400 with eight home runs, six doubles and 19 RBI this month. Since the start of August, Meadows has 28 extra-base hits, tied with the Royals' Jorge Soler for sixth in the AL.
  6. Charlie Morton, who is scheduled to start Wednesday, struck out eight in his last start to move into fifth on the Rays' single-season strikeout list with 231. Nine strikeouts would move him into sole possession of third place behind two seasons from Chris Archer.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/24/2019 thru 9/25/2019
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

For the Tampa Bay Rays, the past few weeks have been defined by close games and dramatic victories. The ability to win a majority of those games is keeping the Rays in the second American League wild-card spot.

After getting a marathon win Tuesday, the Rays hope to record another victory Wednesday night when they face the New York Yankees in the finale of a two-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Rays (94-64) will enter their final regular-season home game leading the Cleveland Indians by one half-game for the second AL wild card. They are just a half-game behind the Oakland Athletics for the first wild card.

"We're always focused on every single game," Tampa Bay first baseman Ji-Man Choi said through a translator in his on-field interview after hitting the game-winning homer in the 12th inning Tuesday. "We're just focused on getting that wild-card spot. So, we're going to do our job to get that spot."

Tampa Bay has held one of the wild-card positions for 23 straight days and has 18 victories in its past 24 games. The Rays have six one-run wins and five extra-inning wins in that stretch.

Tampa Bay is 6-13 against the Yankees but claimed a 2-1 victory in the series opener when Choi went deep. Choi has hit five of his 18 homers in his past 11 games, and his second career walk-off homer occurred a day after he sparked a six-run fourth Monday against Boston with a home run.

The Yankees (102-56) could see the Rays in the AL Division Series but will only face the winner of the wild-card game if they secure the best record. The Yankees are 12-7 in their last 19 games and trail the Houston Astros (103-54) by 1 1/2 games in the chase for the AL's top mark and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

New York also enters Wednesday one homer away from becoming the first team in major league history to hit 300 in a season. The Yankees have two more homers than Minnesota after Cameron Maybin homered in the third inning Tuesday.

Of bigger concern for the Yankees is Gio Urshela's left hand. He was hit by a Diego Castillo fastball in the sixth and exited an inning later. The Yankees said Urshela had a bruised left hand and that X-rays were negative.

The Yankees will hope to produce some better offense after striking out 13 times against nine pitchers Tuesday.

"They can be really aggressive with creating matchup advantages early and often in the game," Boone said. "So they did a good job of that of putting some guys in really successful short lanes and we were able to do the same thing. It made it obviously tough sledding for the offense today."

Charlie Morton (15-6, 3.15 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay on Wednesday. He has struggled slightly since the All-Star break by going 5-4 with a 4.38 ERA in his past 13 starts after going 10-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 19 starts.

Morton's last start was in one of Tampa Bay's walk-off wins when he allowed two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings Friday during a 5-4, 11-inning win over Boston.

Morton is 3-2 with a 4.54 ERA in seven career regular-season starts against the Yankees. He is 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three starts against the Yankees this season.

The Yankees will start Jonathan Loaisiga (2-1, 4.25 ERA) and are expected to use veteran J.A. Happ as a reliever at some point as they did with CC Sabathia on Tuesday.

Loaisiga is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in his three starts this season and is making his first start since May 8 against Seattle. He has thrown two innings in each of his past three appearances and has a 2.89 ERA in six outings this month.

The 24-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against Tampa Bay, both last year.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 25, 2019

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