The Orioles have already hung around longer than most people thought when the 60-game season opened, but when it comes to crunch time in the AL East the Yankees and Rays are the betting favorites to fight it out for the title.
Having dropped three of four to the Rays at Tropicana Field earlier this month when the Yankees took exception to Rays hurlers pitching their hitters up and in throughout the weekend adds more flavor to a rivalry that has evolved into so much more than the Red Sox-Yankees.
So, away from Tropicana Field and at Yankee Stadium the Yankees get a chance to put some distance between themselves and the pesky Rays. The Yankees hold a 2 ½-game lead over the second-place Rays after beating the Red Sox, 6-3, Monday night at the Stadium.
Since the remaining six games against the Rays are in The Bronx it is imperative the Yankees don’t suffer the same fate they did in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I thought we did a lot of things in that series pretty well. Even though we didn’t score a ton of runs outside of the one game we played I thought we gave ourselves a lot of opportunities and that is what you have to do against them,’’ Aaron Boone said Monday of…