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Up next: Yankees

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 22, 2001


Today: 7:15 p.m.

Saturday: 4:15 p.m.

Sunday: 1:15 p.m.

* * *

SCOUTING REPORT: The Yankees are still the Yankees, a collection of stars who work hard and know they are good, but they appear thinner and more vulnerable than ever. Their pitching -- second best in the league heading into play Thursday -- has kept them in the race, though the bullpen is so thin they are searching for help. Roger Clemens, who pitches Saturday, is off to a great start, and Mariano Rivera already has 21 saves.

THE PAST WEEK: The Yankees have been limping at about a .500 pace awhile. They followed a 7-6 homestand by taking two of three from the Mets and losing two of three at Detroit. YANKEES CONNECTIONS: Reliever Brian Boehringer was briefly a Ray, taken from the Yankees in the November 1997 expansion draft then traded to San Diego in the deal for John Flaherty.

2001 SEASON SERIES: At first, the Yankees were virtually unbeatable, winning 17 of the first 18 games between the teams, but the Rays hold a 10-8 edge since Sept. 25, 1999. Overall, the Yanks lead 25-11.

WHO'S HOT: Bernie Williams went into play Thursday on a tear, having raised his average from .205 to .304 in little more than a month.

WHO'S NOT: Rumors are flying that the Yankees are looking for a first baseman as Tino Martinez struggles. He had five hits in his past 42 at-bats (.119) going into Thursday.

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