The New York Yankees are playing so well they’re running out of ways to win.
They will shoot for another three-game sweep when they host the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.
The Yankees have won six straight and 13 of 14 to climb 30 games over .500 (46-16).
“We have guys that are having great starts to their season individually, but everyone in that room has contributed in so many different ways,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after his team’s 4-3 win on Wednesday night.
“Defensively, running the bases, out of the ‘pen, starting rotation, just a lot of different ways we’ve been able to win games, and I think that gives everyone a lot of confidence going into each day, knowing we don’t have to do it just one way.”
The Rays have made three costly errors in the outfield in the first two games of the series that led to five of the six runs scored by New York.
“There’s just been a couple costly mistakes that seem to add to runs,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
The Yankees are scheduled to send Luis Severino to the mound for the series finale.
Severino (4-1, 2.80 ERA) shouldn’t have difficulty getting motivated for the start. His only loss this season came against the Rays on May 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Severino allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings in the 4-2 defeat, surrendering just two hits, but both were solo home runs.
The New York bullpen, which has been nearly flawless in this series, didn’t do Severino any favors either. They inherited two runners and both scored on a bases-loaded walk and hit batter.
Severino has otherwise pitched well against the Rays in his career, as he is 8-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 career appearances, including 11 starts, vs. Tampa Bay.
Like most of the Yankees starters, Severino has been dominant in his two starts in June, allowing one run in 13 innings and striking 20 with two walks.
The Rays were planning to start Drew Rasmussen in the series finale, but he was placed on the 15-day injured list on Wednesday due to a left hamstring strain.
Jalen Beeks (1-1, 1.38 ERA) will make his second start of the season in what will likely be a bullpen game for Tampa Bay.
Beeks threw 2 1/3 shutout innings of relief against the Yankees in a 2-0 loss on May 27. The left-hander has made seven relief appearances overall in his career against New York, producing no wins or losses and a 4.00 ERA.
Rasmussen said he felt discomfort in his leg toward the end of his latest start, a 9-4 loss in Minnesota on June 10.
“It was something that we were hoping we could get ready to go and throw (Thursday) in time, but the organization is looking out for my long-term health,” he said. “It’s a long season.”
Tampa Bay was already without catcher Mike Zunino, who is scheduled to get a second MRI on his cervical area to determine what’s causing tingling and numbness in his arm.
Zunino made his first All-Star team last season and hit a career-high 33 home runs.
The Rays also lost center fielder Kevin Kiermaier in the Wednesday loss. He departed in the third inning because of left Achilles inflammation.
–Field Level Media