Rays out to push Yankees further down in AL East

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Jul 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Jul 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Image: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

While the Tampa Bay Rays hope their recent rut is ending, the New York Yankees are trying to build some momentum with the return of Aaron Judge

The Rays look to widen their lead in the American League wild-card race and push the host Yankees further back in the standings Monday night when the division rivals open a three-game series in New York


The Rays won four of seven meetings over the first two weekends in May, taking two of three at home before splitting a four-game series in the Bronx. Those games were part of Tampa Bay's spectacular start that kept them in first place through mid-July

Tampa Bay heads to New York with just seven wins in its past 23 games after ending June at 57-28 with a 6 1/2-game lead. Since following up a seven-game skid with a three-game winning streak, the Rays are 4-9 in their past 13 games


The Rays took two of three in Houston and bounced back from a 17-4 loss on Saturday with an 8-2 win Sunday. Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer and Josh Lowe capped a four-run first inning with a bases-clearing double

"I think everybody realizes that we're kind of coming out of this little rut that we've been in," said right fielder Josh Lowe, who is 11-for-57 (.193) this month. "Just got to keep building on it.

New York is 7-12 over its past 19 games and is 3 1/2 games behind the final wild-card spot

Judge returned on Friday after missing 42 games with a torn ligament in his right toe, and he homered in Saturday's 8-3 win at Baltimore. A night later, he was rested as the Yankees struck out a season-high 18 times in a 9-3 loss


Five of those strikeouts were by Anthony Rizzo, who is in a 2-for-21 slide since going 4-for-4 against Kansas City on July 23

"This is a tough one, but nothing stops," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Sunday's game. "We got to get back on the horse. Obviously, Tampa's coming in. We got to be ready to go, obviously with the urgency where we're at.


Tyler Glasnow (4-3, 3.36 ERA), who pitched a season-high seven innings in each of his past two starts, both at home, opens the series for the Rays. Glasnow allowed three runs (two earned) in a no-decision at home against the Baltimore Orioles on July 20 and then gave up one run in a 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday

The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees. He last faced them June 1, 2021, when he allowed three runs in seven innings at Yankee Stadium


The Yankees originally planned to start Domingo German, but he was scratched Monday afternoon and Jhony Brito was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start instead

Brito, 25, made his major league debut earlier this season as part of the Yankees' major league rotation while multiple starters were sidelined with injuries. In 12 appearances (11 starts) Brito went 4-4 with a 4.70 ERA. He last pitched for New York June 27


In his only career game against the Rays, Brito gave up four runs and six hits in four innings of a no-decision May 5. Brito struck out two, walked one and allowed home runs to Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz. The Yankees went on to lose 5-4

--Field Level Medi