ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Jake Odorizzi shut down New York in the start of a key weekend for the Yankees.
Ordorizzi pitched masterfully into the seventh inning, Logan Forsythe and Corey Dickerson hit solo homers in the first, and the Tampa Bay Rays cooled off the surging Yankees 5-1 on Friday night.
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner was expected to be at game that saw scouts from many playoff contenders in attendance for the start of a three-game series with Monday's non-waiver trade deadline looming that could help determine if New York might join Tampa Bay as potential sellers.
''Try and win every game no matter what the situation is,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees had won eight of 11 to get 3 1/2 games behind Boston for the second AL wild card, prompting Girardi before the game to call the Rays series ''big.''
''This is playoff baseball for us,'' Girardi said.
Teams represented included San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs, Florida, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto, Baltimore, Texas and the Chicago White Sox.
Odorizzi (5-5) struck out five and allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings. Alex Colome entered with two on and one out in the ninth, and got two straight outs for his 23rd save.
''I'm not really worried about it, to be honest,'' Odorizzi said of trade speculation. ''I'm worried about what I do here, and coming out in the second half and starting off well, which I think we have. That's what my purpose is, to get better because in the first half I wasn't happy with myself.''
Ivan Nova (7-6) gave up five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. When pulled by Girardi, Nova directed several comments toward plate umpire Laz Diaz walking toward the dugout and then fired his glove against the wall after reaching the dugout steps.
''Ivan wasn't pleased with his strike zone,'' Girardi said. ''It's hard for me to tell, but I thought there were some pitches that looked pretty good.''
Nova didn't blame the strike zone for his loss, but ''bad'' pitch command.
Yankees: RHP Bryan Mitchell, out since the end of spring training with a left toe injury, will throw in a simulated game Saturday.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) resumed a minor league rehab assignment after taking 2 1/2 weeks off due to fatigue and struck out two over two hitless innings for Class A Charlotte.
Tampa Bay placed 1B Logan Morrison (right forearm strain) and OF Oswaldo Arcia (right elbow strain) on the 15-day disabled list. RHP Brad Boxberger (strained left oblique) was reinstated from the 15-day DL and INF-OF Nick Franklin was recalled from Triple-A Durham.
Girardi said DH Alex Rodriguez could start Saturday night after being out of the lineup six straight games. A-Rod, who singled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, is in a 2-for-22 slump.
Rays LHP Drew Smyly (2-11) looks to end an 11-start winless streak - that includes seven losses - as he goes against Yankees RHP Nathan Eovaldi (9-6).