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Yankees (29-24) Vs. Rays (31-23) Preview: Game Time, TV, Probable Pitchers

Andy Pettitte pitches Tuesday night for the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Andy Pettitte pitches Tuesday night for the New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The New York Yankees open a three-game series with the American League East rival Tampa Bray Rays Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium (7:05 p.m. ET, YES/MLB Network). The Yankees (29-24) begin the series 1.5 games behind the Rays (31-23) for first place in the division. The Baltimore Orioles (30-25) are tied with the Yankees for the second spot.

Tuesday night's pitching matchup is an excellent one, pitting Andy Pettitte (2-2, 3.49 ERA) of the Yankees against James Shields (6-3, 3.95) of the Rays. Shields, however is only 5-12 with a 4.39 ERA against the Yankees during his career.

The Yankees, inconsistent much of the season, went 6-3 on a just-concluded road trip.

Pitching matchups for the rest of the series are as follows:

Wednesday: Ivan Nova (Yankees) vs. Alex Cobb.

Thursday: CC Sabathia (Yankees) vs. David Price

NOTE: The Rays recently signed former Yankee Hideki Matsui in an effort to bolster their offense. Matsui has three hits in 16 at-bats thus far, a .188 average. Two of his hits, however, have been home runs.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Tampa Bay 31 23 .574 0 Won 1
New York 29 24 .547 1.5 Won 1
Baltimore 30 25 .545 1.5 Lost 1
Boston 28 26 .518 3 Lost 1
Toronto 28 26 .518 3 Won 1

(updated 6.5.2012 at 10:31 AM EDT)