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Rays hope new 'home' field helps against Yankees

NEW YORK -- The Tampa Bay Rays are hoping their second night in their temporary home Tuesday goes better than the first.

The New York Yankees will attempt to keep proving that the road -- wherever it might be located -- is where the wins are.

The Rays will "host" the Yankees in the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night, when the American League East rivals meet at Citi Field. The series, originally scheduled to take place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., was relocated due to the effects of Hurricane Irma along Florida's Gulf Coast.

Rays left-hander Blake Snell (3-6, 4.36 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray (9-9, 3.22 ERA between the Yankees and Oakland Athletics).

The Yankees captured the series opener 5-1 Monday. New York (78-65) has won five of the first seven games on a nine-game road trip in which it earlier faced the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, outscoring the opposition 51-32 thus far.

"That old saying that hitting's contagious? Winning's contagious," said Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier, whose three-run homer Monday capped a five-run fourth inning. "Just seems like when you come to the ballpark right now, something good's going to happen. Could be any guy, and it has been. Pitching's been there. Hitting's been there. We're clicking now at the right time."

With the win Monday, the Yankees increased their lead to four games over the idle Minnesota Twins in the race for the American League's first wild-card spot while moving within three games of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, who also were off.

The Rays (71-74) dropped them four games behind the Twins in the race for the second wild card. The task for Tampa Bay grew taller when the games were relocated to New York, where Yankees fans made up the majority of the 15,327 in attendance Monday.

"It was kind of what we expected, to be quite honest," said Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who took the loss Monday. "We're in the backyard of the Yankees, and they draw well at the Trop, so obviously, they're going to draw well in New York."

Snell will be looking to bounce back from his shortest start in more than a month. The 24-year-old southpaw didn't factor into the decision on Wednesday when he allowed six runs over four innings as the Rays fell to the Twins 10-6. The outing snapped a five-start streak in which Snell pitched at least six innings each time.

Gray earned the win last Thursday when he allowed an unearned run over 5 2/3 innings as the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-1. It was only the second time in seven starts with the Yankees that Gray lasted less than six innings. He is 3-4 with a 2.74 ERA for the Yankees since he was acquired from the Athletics on July 31.

Snell is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees, a team he has faced more than any opponent in his two-year career. He is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts against New York this season.

Gray is 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA in nine career starts against the Rays. He is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts vs. Tampa Bay this season.

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