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Yankees vs. Rays game preview: Warren vs. Karns, Round III

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For the third time already, young starters Adam Warren and Nathan Karns will square off. Will either actually get a decision this time?

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

After an annoying late-game loss last night, the Yankees seek to rebound tonight at Tropicana Field and move back to four games ahead of second-place Tampa. If the pitching matchup gives Yankees and Rays fans déjà vu (all over again), that's because Adam Warren and Nathan Karns will be taking the mound against each other for the third time this season. Warren has allowed a combined five earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in 9 2/3 innings, striking out eight in the process. Logan Forsythe and the since-demoted Allan Dykstra also took him deep.

Meanwhile, Karns fared slightly better with just three earned runs allowed on five hits in his 9 2/3 innings, and he struck out 12 Yankees over the two games. However, he did give up a homer to Stephen Drew, walk six batters, and surrender the longest homer of the 2015 season to Alex Rodriguez. Hey, that was awesome! Let's watch it again.

I still can't believe how far that ball was hit, and how stupid the fan was who threw the ball back. Just throw your wallet on the field next time--it's the same difference. Anyway, the Yankees actually ended up winning both of the two matchups, and neither starter factored in the decision. Both Joe Girardi and Kevin Cash are obviously hoping that changes, as both would like their pitchers to last longer in the game than a "five and fly." Warren has yet to go six innings in any of his six starts this season, so if he wants to prove he still deserves a shot in the rotation over Chase Whitley when Chris Capuano comes back, he might need to figure out how to pitch deeper in a hurry.

First pitch will take place at about 7:10 EST. You can catch the game on YES Network, Sun Sports, MLB.tv, or your nearest watering hole. As Tanya noted earlier, Drew began to take grounders as the team's official backup third baseman over the nigh-40 A-Rod, and he is getting tested in a hurry, starting tonight at third. Grab your popcorn!

Today's Lineups

NEW YORK YANKEES TAMPA BAY RAYS
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Brett Gardner - LF Steven Souza - RF
Alex Rodriguez - DH Evan Longoria - 3B
Mark Teixeira - 1B James Loney - 1B
Brian McCann - C Logan Forsythe - 2B
Carlos Beltran - RF David DeJesus - DH
Stephen Drew - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Jose Pirela - 2B Joey Butler - LF
Didi Gregorius - SS Bobby Wilson - C
Adam Warren - RHP Nate Karns - RHP