Alex Rodriguez (13), Nick Swisher (33) and Robinson Cano (24) of the New York Yankees celebrate a 10-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium May 6, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
The New York Yankees begin a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays, co-leaders in the American League East, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium (7:05 p.m. ET). A series in the second week of May can hardly be considered critical for the 15-13 Yankees, 3.5 games behind the 19-10 Rays and Baltimore Orioles, but these games are certainly important for New York.
The Rays swept a season-opening three-game series from the Yankees in April, and the Yankees have been up-and-down ever since.
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AL East Standings
Ivan Nova (3-1, 5.58 ERA) pitches tonight for the Yankees against James Shields (5-0, 3.05 ERA). Wednesday David Phelps (0-1, 3.74) pitches for the Yankees against Jeff Neimann (2-3, 4.05). Thursday aces CC Sabathia of the Yankees (4-0, 4.15) and David Price (5-1, 2.35) match up.
The Yankees have been led offensively this season by Derek Jeter, hitting an AL-leading .397. Evan Longoria is hitting .329 with four home runs and 19 RBI for the Rays.