(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays go for a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees this afternoon from the Bronx.
The Rays needed 12 innings to take the series opener, then handed the Yankees a 2-1 loss on Tuesday behind a strong showing from starting pitcher David Price. Price struck out nine batters and walked three across seven solid innings, charged with one run and four hits.
"Very sweet. David did a great job," said Rays first baseman James Loney. "We've been playing well lately."
Jake McGee and Grant Balfour each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, with Balfour picking up his 11th save.
Loney put the Rays ahead for good with a solo home run to lead off the sixth inning and finished 2-for-4. Logan Forsythe was also 2-for-4 with an RBI and both Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings added two hits apiece for the Rays, who have won four straight and eight of 11 games.
The Rays will visit Detroit next for four games.
Jake Odorizzi will start Wednesday for the Rays and is 3-7 with a 4.14 earned run average. He is 1-0 in his last three appearances after going 0-4 in his previous five outings. Odorizzi did not factor in the outcome of a 4-1 loss at Baltimore last Friday and limited the Orioles to a run in five innings.
Odorizzi threw 106 pitches, walked four and struck out six.
"I had no pitches tonight," Odorizzi said. "I had no fastball command, no offspeed pitches, slider was terrible, changeup was equally as bad, my curveball ... I think I threw it twice. It was just an all-around bad, bad experience out there."
The right-hander is 1-4 in seven road starts and has no record and a 3.86 ERA in two games (1 start) lifetime against the Yankees. Odorizzi pitched at Yankee Stadium in a 9-3 loss on May 3 and did not post a decision after he was reached for three runs in four innings.
New York has dropped four straight and eight of 10 games, and wasted a decent performance from starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda gave up both runs in eight innings of work, struck out seven and walked one batter. He did allow nine hits, including the home run to Loney.
"These guys have proven track records and these are the guys that we have and these are the guys that have to get it done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "No one has a magic potion. You just have to grind it out."
Derek Jeter had two hits and scored on a throwing error in the fourth inning. He also tied the great Lou Gehrig for first on the franchise's doubles list with 534. The Yankees will commemorate the 75th anniversary of Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech on Wednesday.
The Yankees, who now sit 3 1/2 games off the pace in the AL East, will hit the road after today's game and will play 11 in a row against Minnesota, Cleveland and Baltimore.
New York hopes Vidal Nuno can duplicate his latest performance when he takes the ball Wednesday. Nuno posted his first career win at Yankee Stadium in Friday's 6-0 blanking of Boston and hurled 5 2/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Nuno is now 2-4 with a 5.42 earned run average and had lost his previous four decisions, spanning eight appearances. The left-hander will make his fourth career start against Tampa Bay and has no record and a 3.45 ERA through the first three showdowns in this series.
Nuno has faced the Rays twice already this season.
The Rays have won six of nine meetings with the Yankees this season and took two of three matchups in the Bronx from May 2-4.