Yanks look to take down Rays

Yanks look to take down Rays

The Yankees started the second half with a four-game series at Tropicana Field, picking up three wins against the Devil Rays. Less than a week later, it's time for New York to play host to Tampa Bay in another four-game series, and the Yankees are hoping for a similar result.

On Friday night, the teams will start off Game 1 of the series at Yankee Stadium, with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET. After winning three of their four games against Toronto since returning home from St. Petersburg, the Yankees, now 6-2 in the second half, will look to continue to improve their record against the Rays.

Mike Mussina and Edwin Jackson will square off for the second time this week, as both started in the final game of the Yankees-Rays series on Sunday at Tropicana Field. The two hurlers, however, didn't make or break the game, as they pitched six innings each to record no-decisions in the Yankees' 7-6 win.

Mussina allowed the Rays 11 hits in the outing, holding Tampa Bay to three runs. The right-hander was unable to record a strikeout against them, and walked two before he left the game with the Yankees leading, 4-3.

Jackson held the Yankees to four scoreless innings before faltering in the fifth frame, when he gave up all of his four runs. The slipup, though, was brief, as he came back to deliver another scoreless inning before leaving the game with six allowed hits, two walks and six strikeouts.

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (4-6, 4.61 ERA)
Mussina is 16-6 with a 3.30 in 28 starts against the Devil Rays. The right-hander has never lost a game against them at Yankee Stadium, where he's 7-0 with a 1.07 ERA in seven career starts.

TB: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-9, 7.14 ERA)
Jackson has never won a game against the Yankees, but he's never lost one, either. In five career appearances, including one start, facing New York, the 23-year-old right-hander is 0-0 with a 5.56 ERA.

Player to watch
Dioner Navarro is batting .500 with a 1.125 OPS in eight career at-bats against Mussina. In their last meeting on Sunday at Tampa Bay, the catcher went 2-for-3 against the right-hander.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MY9

On radio
• WCBS, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Yankees (Matt DeSalvo, 1-3, 5.87) vs. Devil Rays (TBD), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Yankees (Kei Igawa, 2-2, 6.97) vs. Devil Rays (J.P. Howell, 1-3, 6.62), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-6, 4.10) vs. Devil Rays (James Shields, 8-5, 3.91), 1:05 p.m. ET

Lauren Kobylarz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.