Tampa Bay (8-12) at New York (10-8)

Fair Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 26, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s no surprise that Derek Jeter is leading the way for the New York Yankees’ star-studded lineup.

Jeter hopes to continue his hot hitting and help the Yankees to a fourth straight victory Wednesday night when they continue a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium.

New York (10-8) improved to 6-1 at home by routing Tampa Bay 9-1 on Tuesday. Jeter went 3-for-5, including a two-run homer in the first inning that put the Yankees ahead for good.

It’s been a sizzling April for Jeter, who is batting a team-high .391 for the year with six multihit efforts over his last eight games. The Yankees captain got off to slow starts each of the last two Aprils, hitting .257 last season and .172 in 2004.

“I’m just supposed to get on base for the guys behind me,” Jeter said. “Today I was happy because I drove the ball the other way.”

Jeter is one of numerous New York regulars wielding a hot bat. Robinson Cano is hitting .349 and Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi are each batting .347.

Cano enters with a 12-game hitting streak after receiving Tuesday off in order to give Miguel Cairo a rare start. He’s batting .404 (19-for-47) during the run.

“It’s tough to bench him anytime, but it doesn’t seem to bother him,” New York manager Joe Torre said. “He’s got such a good feel for it right now.”

The Yankees won for the first time in their last nine night games and improved to 6-1 at home. They also beat Tampa Bay for the fourth straight time after the Devil Rays won 11 of the first 16 meetings last season.

Chien-Ming Wang (1-1, 5.48 ERA) gets the start for New York as he attempts to bounce back from a rough outing. Wang was tagged for six runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings as he suffered his first loss, 6-5 to Baltimore last Friday.

The right-hander went 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA in four starts against Tampa Bay last season.

Wang has had trouble with Tampa Bay left fielder Carl Crawford, who is 6-for-13 against him.

Crawford is expected to be back in the lineup for the Devil Rays after missing Tuesday’s game to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Houston.

The Devil Rays were also without regulars Jorge Cantu, Aubrey Huff, Julio Lugo and Rocco Baldelli as they dropped their fourth straight game.

“Some of the regular guys not being in the lineup makes it a little more difficult. The show must go on. It’s a difficult moment right now, that’s all,” manager Joe Maddon said.

Jonny Gomes’ first-inning solo homer accounted for all of the Devil Rays’ offense. Gomes is hitting .342 (13-for-38) with eight RBIs in 11 career games at Yankee Stadium.

Tampa Bay’s Seth McClung (1-3, 10.90) will make his third road start of the season after going 0-2 with a 21.94 ERA in the first two. He failed to last past the third inning in both outings, surrendering nine runs and eight hits over 2 1-3 innings in a 13-7 loss at Texas last Friday.

The right-hander will make his first career start at Yankee Stadium. He’s 0-1 with a 14.00 ERA against New York in four career appearances, including one start.

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Starting Pitchers

S. McClung Pit vs. C. Wang Atl
6-12 Record 19-6
6.29 ERA 3.63
59 K 76
68 BB 52
1.83 WHIP 1.31