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Reply To: MLB Previews, Articles, Info, etc, Tuesday 9/15/15

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Preview: Yankees (79-64) at Rays (69-74)

Game: 2
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: September 15, 2015 7:10 PM EDT

After rallying to take the series opener at Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees can focus on continuing their season success against Jake Odorizzi.

The Rays right-hander tries to avoid falling to 0-4 this season against the visiting Yankees on Tuesday night.

Alex Rodriguez hit a tying double before rookie outfielder Slade Heathcott clubbed a three-run homer as New York (79-64) did all its scoring in the ninth inning of Monday’s 4-1 victory. A day after snapping their five-game skid with a 5-0 win over AL East-leading Toronto, the Yankees had one hit and trailed 1-0 before breaking through.

Heathcott, who was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Saturday, is batting .389 with two homers and six RBIs over 18 at-bats in seven career games.

“Just tremendous,” Rodriguez said. “You get caught up and I become a fan when you’re watching a young kid with so much talent. Big, signature Yankee moment.”

Heathcott’s homer could be a season-defining moment for New York, which trimmed the idle Blue Jays’ division lead to three games.

“You just look at our dugout, the way they reacted, it’s the biggest hit of the season,” left-hander CC Sabathia said.

The Yankees will again try to get the best of Odorizzi (7-8, 3.21 ERA), who has a 5.68 ERA while losing all three starts against them in 2015. Brian McCann has been particularly tough on Odorizzi, going 6 for 7 against him this season and 11 for 17 with three home runs, three doubles and a triple in his career.

Odorizzi wasn’t about to rehash those problems with McCann after the veteran catcher hit one of New York’s three homers off him in a 5-2 home victory Sept. 4.

“I’m just not going to talk about it anymore, so no further questions on that,” Odorizzi said after that contest.

He was much better Wednesday while allowing six hits and striking out six in six innings of an 8-0 victory at Detroit. Odorizzi went 0-2 with a 4.71 ERA in his previous seven starts.

“He’s a very effective pitcher because he can move up and down in the zone,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

That hasn’t been the case while Odorizzi has gone 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in his last two home starts. He was 3-2 with a 1.40 ERA in his first eight at Tropicana Field.

Logan Forsythe had the lone RBI on Monday for the Rays (69-74), who have dropped three straight and eight of their last 11. Forsythe is 3 for 7 with a double and a home run this season against Adam Warren (6-6, 3.29).

With Nathan Eovaldi nursing a sore elbow, Warren is expected to make his first start since June 25. The right-hander has made 25 appearances out of the bullpen and is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 14 starts this season.

“I think those guys are invaluable to a staff,” manager Joe Girardi told MLB’s official website. “Guys that can do a number of different things.”

Warren, who began the season in the rotation, is 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA in three starts against the Rays in 2015.

Evan Longoria is 4 for 28 with nine strikeouts against the Yankees at home this season but has gone 4 for 9 when facing Warren this year.