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Yankees vs. Rays preview: Seeking a split

The Yankees streak of winning series is officially over. Can Chase Whitley help the team avoid a series loss against the Rays?

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in just about one calendar month, the Yankees have lost consecutive games, after the team dropped two of three to begin their set against the Rays this week. However, with a win tonight, New York can avoid their first outright series defeat, something they've only suffered once in the past month (May 4-6 against the Blue Jays).

Chase Whitley takes the ball for the Bombers tonight and looks to rebound from his worst start of the season his last time out. On Saturday at home against the Orioles, Whitley surrendered five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, taking the loss. It served as a regression to the mean following a pair of very strong starts for the right-hander. Whitley faced this same Tampa Bay team back in New York on April 28th, the same night that Masahiro Tanaka was placed on the DL. Whitley received the win that outing, pitching five frames of one-run ball while striking out five. So far in 2015, Whitley is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 17 2/3 innings.

Erasmo Ramirez will make his third start of the season for the Rays Thursday, as they try to secure a series victory. Having appeared mostly as a reliever so far this year, Ramirez has not exactly been what you would call "good" in 2015. In his previous nine outings, the righty has registered an 8.38 ERA over a span of 19 1/3 innings. As a starter, Ramirez's ERA is 11.05 in 7 1/3 innings, so he's actually been worse in the situation Tampa has him throwing in Thursday night. Ramirez actually pitched already in this series, tossing two innings on Monday, while allowing a home run to Mark Teixeira.

First pitch for the series finale is set for 7:10 from the Trop and can been seen on YES.