Unit seeks first win over Rays since '98

Unit looks to snap personal Rays skid

Randy Johnson has turned things around in his last two starts, allowing one run over 16 innings in a pair of impressive wins over the Cardinals and Pirates.

Tuesday, the Big Unit will try to do something he hasn't done in more than seven years: defeat the Devil Rays.

Dating back to 1998, Johnson has dropped three consecutive decisions against Tampa Bay, including a 6-2 loss on April 19. The Unit also lost to the Rays last season with Arizona, as well as a game in 1998 while pitching for Seattle.

Only once in his career has Johnson been beaten four straight times by the same team, when he lost to the Tigers four times between August 1991 and April 1993.

In his last start against Tampa Bay, Johnson allowed six runs in 7 1/3 innings. The big blows came off the bat of Eduardo Perez, who drilled a pair of homers against the five-time Cy Young Award winner.

"I hit a couple of home runs off him, but he's throwing well now," Perez said. "You can't ever take anything for granted. He's a great pitcher. He might strike me out three times. You just have to stay humble with it, because if you don't, this game will humble you."

Pitching matchup
TB: RHP Hideo Nomo
• 4-6, 4.31 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 5.23 ERA in 2004 vs. NYY

NYY: LHP Randy Johnson
• 7-5, 3.51 ERA in 2005
• 0-1, 6.14 ERA in 2004 vs. TB

Players to watch
Gary Sheffield has phenomenal numbers against Nomo, batting .469 (15-for-32) with three home runs and nine RBIs against the right-hander. Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi have each taken Nomo deep twice.

Quotable
"The only thing I'm looking for is how long we can sustain this. I'm not saying we win every single game, but when you lose a game or two, not to tumble down the steps. That's what we did after winning 16 out of 18, which surprised me." -- Joe Torre, on his team's six-game winning streak to open the homestand

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NYY: YES Network
• TB: FSN

On radio
• NYY: WCBS 880 AM
• TB: WHNZ 1250 AM

Quick hits
Hideki Matsui was named the American League's Player of the Week on Monday, batting .455 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. ... Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera have not allowed a run in their last 29 combined appearances. ... Bernie Williams needs two hits to tie Yogi Berra for sixth place on the club's all-time list with 2,148. ... The Yankees are 6-1 on the homestand.

On deck
• Wednesday: vs. Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: vs. Tampa Bay, 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m. ET

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.