The Rays come to New York off back-to-back losses, and Tampa Bay must now play in a stadium where it has recently struggled. Despite currently owning an all-time-high seven-game winning streak against the Yankees, the Rays have dropped four of their last five games in the Bronx.
Tampa Bay's James Shields can buck that trend and keep the Rays' winning streak against the Yankees intact, going for his sixth win of the season. New York roughed up Shields on Opening Day, scoring six runs on nine hits in five innings, but the Rays came back to win in the bottom of the ninth with a rally against Mariano Rivera.
Shields, who struck out a season-high 11 batters in his last outing, will be a facing Yankees lineup that broke out for 10 runs against the Royals on Sunday after scoring only 13 in the previous six games combined. The Yankees hit three home runs on Sunday, and Shields, who has given up five homers in 34 innings at Yankee Stadium, knows New York is a tough place to pitch.
"You definitely have to be careful of the right-field wall, but for the most part, you have to concentrate on their hitters, who are dangerous no matter where you're playing them," Shields said.
Right-hander Ivan Nova will take the mound for New York on Tuesday, the first time in months that he'll be looking to rebound from a loss. Nova lost for the first time since last June 3 in his most recent start, snapping a 15-game winning streak by allowing the Orioles five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Nova is 2-0 with a 3.47 ERA in four career starts against the Rays, whom he held to six hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings the last time he faced them.
Rays: Fresh 'pen
Monday's off-day -- the only one for the Rays in a 30-day stretch -- came at a much-needed time for Tampa Bay's bullpen, which worked 8 2/3 innings in Saturday's 12-inning loss to Oakland. The Rays added a fresh arm to their 'pen on Sunday, recalling left-hander Cesar Ramos from Triple-A Durham and optioning Brandon Gomes to Durham. Ramos was 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 12 relief appearances at Triple-A and appeared in 59 games for the Rays a year ago.
Sunday's loss was only the second time in the past 43 games the Rays lost when scoring at least five runs.
Yankees: Granderson reaches mark
Curtis Granderson's third-inning single on Sunday was the Yankees center fielder's 1,000th career hit. It also extended his Major League-leading streak of 27 straight games reaching base safely.
Right-handed reliever David Robertson has struck out the last eight batters he's faced, one shy of the most by a Yankees pitcher since 1961, when Ron Davis struck out nine straight in May 1981.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is hitting .400 (24-for-60) with four homers, five doubles and two triples in his career against Shields.