Gary Sheffield’s adjustment period to the American League appears to be over.
After playing his previous 14 seasons with four different teams in the National League, Sheffield signed as a free agent with the Yankees in the offseason.
Though his average was more than respectable throughout the season’s first two months, Sheffield’s power numbers had been lacking until recently.
The 35-year-old right-fielder led the AL with a .563 average (9-for-16), 1.250 slugging percentage and .667 on-base percentage last week, guiding the Yankees to a 5-1 mark. Sheffield also hit three home runs and had seven RBIs, and has five homers and 16 RBIs over his last 10 games.
Sheffield, who has hit all but 29 of his 387 career home runs in the NL, shook off the effects of a stomach flu to hit two home runs on Friday as the Yankees defeated Texas 7-6.
“Sheffield looked like a man possessed,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “Not bad for a stomach flu.”
Sheffield went 2-for-4 during Saturday’s 8-1 loss to the Rangers and was given the day off Sunday. The Yankees won 2-1 for their 11th victory in 13 games.
The Rockies might be making their first appearance at Yankee Stadium at a bad time. Besides the Yankees owning the best record in baseball and the majors’ top home winning percentage (.692), the Rockies have lost 14 of 18 overall and are among the worst road teams in baseball.
Colorado has been particularly bad on the road in interleague play, losing 34 of 47 games all-time.
The Rockies are coming off Monday’s 10-5 home loss to San Francisco.
Third baseman Vinny Castilla has mirrored his team of late, batting just .128 (5-for-39) over his last 10 games. Colorado’s leading run producer, Castilla has just five RBIs during his slide.