While Ivan Nova was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi sent him to the bullpen. Instead, Vidal Nuno will start Saturday's game against the Rays, who send undefeated Matt Moore to the mound.
With a little bit of luck, no, make that late-inning relief pitching, the Yankees might be trying to catch the Rays in the AL East. The Rays entered Friday's game suffering from an epidemic of blown late-inning saves, but that didn't even come into play in this 9-4 loss.
Pitching continued to be the difference between winning and losing for Tampa Bay on Friday night as David Phelps held the Rays without a baserunner until the fifth inning while Roberto Hernandez struggled again as the Yankees drubbed the Rays, 9-4, before 17,825 at Tropicana Field.
Matt Moore prefers not to talk about it, but if he beats the Yankees on Saturday, he will become the fifth-youngest pitcher -- and the second-youngest left-hander since Babe Ruth in 1916 -- to begin a season 9-0 exclusively as a starter.
Former Rays infielder Reid Brignac, who was acquired by the Yankees from the Rockies last Saturday for cash considerations, admitted it felt "a little different" walking by the double doors leading to the Rays' clubhouse on Friday.