The New York Yankees will try to avoid a season-opening, three-game sweep form the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, as Phil Hughes opposes the Ray's Jeremy Hellickson (1:40 p.m. ET on YES Network/TBS) at Tropicana Field. The pitching match-up will showcase two young hurlers, who each have the potential to be their franchises front-line starters.
On Saturday, one of Tampa Bay's franchise pitchers, David Price, out-dueled a struggling Hiroki Kuroda, as the Rays won 8-6. The victory followed up a Opening Day win that came behind a solid start from James Shields. If the Rays can get a solid start from Hellickson, they will be in good shape to earn a series sweep of the Yankees, who will have lost to the Rays six straight times dating back to last season's season-ending series.
However, the hope is Hughes, who went 5-5 with a 5.79 ERA, has a bounce-back season and returns to his '10 form -- 18-8 and 4.19 ERA.
Both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup for the Yankees, who will be giving catcher Russell Martin the day off as Christ Stweart makes his 2012 debut. Designated hitter Raul Ibanez also returns to the batting order, as Jeter returns to the field.
For more on the Yankees, check out the SB Nation blog Pinstripe Alley, while D-Rays Bayis all about the Rays.