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Yankees-Rays Preview

It's been almost a decade since the New York Yankees swept a series of at least three games at Tampa Bay.

Having secured their first winning series of 2015, the Yankees have a chance to do it again Sunday against the Rays.

Masahiro Tanaka allowed two hits over seven innings and Chris Young's grand slam highlighted a seven-run seventh inning in Saturday's 9-0 victory at Tropicana Field.

''A good ballgame that turned somewhat ugly,'' Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

After totaling 14 runs and homering four times in the first two of this set, New York (5-6) is in position to sweep a three-game set at Tampa for the first time since Sept. 13-15, 2005. More importantly for the Yankees, they finally won a series and were dominant in Saturday's rout.

Brian McCann had three hits, including a two-run triple, and Brett Gardner went 2 for 4 with a RBI in his first start since Monday because of a wrist injury. McCann has eight hits but seven have come over three games.

After homering twice Friday to move within two of Willie Mays for fourth all-time, Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts but walked two times and scored two runs.

The Yankees turn to Michael Pineda (1-0, 5.11 ERA), who allowed two runs through six innings of his season debut versus Toronto, then yielded five and nine hits in 6 1-3 on Monday but still prevailed 6-5 at Baltimore.

Though Pineda wasn't sharp in his last outing, he hasn't lacked control - striking out 15 and walking one.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in four starts against the Rays, with that defeat coming despite yielding only an earned run in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss Sept. 16. The only two walks Pineda has given up while going 3-4 with a 2.93 ERA in eight road starts as a Yankee came in that outing. He's struck out 41 during that span.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is 0 for 11 with four strikeouts versus Pineda, and is 1 for 5 in the series.

Tampa Bay is 1-4 at home and its bullpen has yielded nine runs, eight hits and five walks in the first two against the Yankees.

In an interesting move after the game, veteran reliever Grant Balfour, who served up the grand slam to Young and was charged with three runs, was designated for assignment. He did not allow a run over 3 2-3 innings in his previous five appearances this year.

Scheduled Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese (0-0, 3.86) made his second career appearance and first start Tuesday, giving up two runs and five hits 3 2-3 innings of a 3-2 victory at Toronto. With four starting pitchers on the disabled list, the right-hander has been enlisted to help fill part of the void.

It's possible Andriese won't have to face Carlos Beltran, who was scratched from Saturday's lineup because of a cold.

"I don't know how he'll respond," manager Joe Girardi told the Yankees' official website. "This cold these guys have had. ... It's lasted a few days, so we'll just have to wait and see."

Beltran is batting .184 without a home run in 10 games.

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