Texas (10-9) at New York (7-11)

  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Apr 24, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Randy Johnson hasn’t pitched particularly well since beating the archrival Boston Red Sox in the season opener.

The Big Unit will try get back on track and help the New York Yankees avoid getting swept for the second straight weekend when they close their three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

In his last three starts, Johnson is 0-1 with a 6.20 ERA, giving up at least five runs in each outing.

“I’m disappointed, no doubt about it,” he said. “I didn’t enjoy losing when I was young, and I don’t enjoy it now.”

Against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Johnson gave up Eduardo Perez’s first two home runs in more than a year as the Devil Rays went on to a 6-2 win. Johnson has yielded five homers in his last two starts—the first time he has done that in his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Yankees manager Joe Torre feels that because Johnson missed a start in spring training and didn’t pitch his usual number of innings, he is struggling as he builds up the strength in the left arm that has helped him win five Cy Young Awards.

“I know there’s a lot more coming from him,” Torre said. “It’s just all about arm strength.”

The Yankees were swept in a three-game series at Baltimore last weekend, which at the time extended their losing streak to a season-high four games. After last Sunday’s 8-4 loss to the Orioles, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner issued a statement demanding the team start winning.

New York responded with three wins in its next four games entering this series, but has fallen flat against Texas.

The Rangers roughed up Jaret Wright and five relievers for 19 hits in a 10-2 victory Saturday. Mark Teixeira hit a pair of two-run homers and David Dellucci and Kevin Mench also connected. Laynce Nix tied a career high with four hits.

“I think everybody had some good at-bats at some time,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said.

The Yankees are off to their worst start since 1997, the last year they did not win the AL East.

Wright tied career highs by allowing three home runs and 11 hits, and was trailing 6-1 with one out in the sixth when he left the game with pain in his right shoulder.

“I kind of felt it in the second inning and it gradually got worse,” he said. “It got pretty bad in the sixth.”

Now, the oft-injured Wright is on the disabled list for the eighth time in his career.

Texas has won four of five and will be looking for its first three-game winning streak since a five-game run last Sept. 18-23.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Astacio WAS vs. R. Johnson SF
6-10 Record 17-8
4.69 ERA 3.79
78 K 211
37 BB 47
1.34 WHIP 1.13