Tampa Bay (42-41) at New York (51-31)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 8, 2004
  • TV: FSFL, YES
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Unbeaten in his last nine starts, Victor Zambrano hopes to continue his domination of the New York Yankees this season when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays open a four-game series with the defending AL champions at Yankee Stadium.

Zambrano, who has already beaten the Yankees three times this year, is 5-0 in 10 appearances, including nine starts, since a 9-7 loss at Cleveland on May 15. The right-hander opened the season with three straight wins, including a pair of victories over the Yankees.

He opened the big league season with an 8-3 triumph over New York in Japan on March 30, beat the Yankees 9-4 in the Bronx on April 6 and picked up a 7-6 triumph over New York at Tropicana Field on May 30. Zambrano has allowed seven runs and 11 hits over 17 1-3 innings in his three starts against New York.

He has yielded one earned run or fewer in four of his last five outings overall.

On Saturday, Zambrano scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory at Florida.

The surprising Devil Rays climbed back above .500 with a 13-3 rout of Baltimore on Wednesday. Toby Hall and Damian Rolls each drove in three runs as Tampa Bay earned a split of a four-game set with the Orioles.

The Devil Rays are 9-0-2 in their last 11 series, including 5-0-2 on the road.

The AL East-leading Yankees have dropped five of six, including Wednesday’s 10-8 loss to Detroit. Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer for the second time in three games, but New York saw its lead in the division shaved to six games over second-place Boston.

The Yankees have dropped consecutive series for the first time this year.

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Starting Pitchers

V. Zambrano NYY vs. J. Contreras Tex
11-7 Record 13-9
4.37 ERA 5.50
123 K 150
102 BB 84
1.56 WHIP 1.47