New York (16-11) at Texas (17-13)

Fair Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Sat May 6, 2006
  • TV: YES, KDFI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ever since leaving Texas, Alex Rodriguez has been tough on his former team.

Rodriguez looks to stay hot at the plate when his New York Yankees continue their three-game series with the Rangers at Ameriquest Field on Saturday.

Rodriguez played for Texas for three seasons, winning his first AL MVP award in 2003 before being traded to the Yankees the following spring. Since then, Rodriguez has hit .325 (25-for-77) with four homers and 12 RBIs in 20 games against the Rangers.

Rodriguez, the reigning AL MVP, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in Friday’s 8-7 win over Texas, ending a 2-for-22 slump. He was booed each time he batted—and cheered when charged with an error in the sixth.

Derek Jeter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored for the Yankees, who have won three straight and five of six. The Yankees never trailed for the first time in 11 games—going 8-3 in that span—but nearly blew a seven-run lead after starter Mike Mussina left the game in the eighth inning.

Reliever Aaron Small was charged with three runs and Kyle Farnsworth was charged with two. Nonetheless, the Yankees (16-11) moved five games over .500 for the first time this season.

“When they started scoring those runs, it was like a snowball,” Rodriguez said. “That reminds you of two things: how much their guys can hit and how well Mussina pitched.”

Gary Sheffield returned to the Yankees lineup for the first time in five games after suffering a bruised wrist in a collision with Toronto’s Shea Hillenbrand on April 29. Sheffield was 0-for-5 before Bubba Crosby replaced him in the bottom of the eighth.

The Rangers (17-13) had their six-game winning streak snapped, their longest since a nine-game run at the end of last May.

Brad Wilkerson extended his hitting streak to eight games with a third-inning triple a night after suffering a mild concussion when he crashed hard into the wall. He is hitting .464 (13-for-28) during his hitting streak.

Kameron Loe (1-2, 4.15 ERA) will look to get the Rangers back on track. He allowed just four hits in seven innings of Monday’s 3-0 win over the Devil Rays.

Loe had given up nine earned runs in nine innings in his previous two starts without receiving a decision.

“It’s really nice to get that first one. Very nice,” Loe said of his first victory. “I felt like I could have gotten it a couple of times. … I try not to get discouraged. I knew that I was pitching well enough to win, and it was just not going my way.”

Loe has made two career relief appearances against the Yankees, both last season, going 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three innings. He will face New York’s Shawn Chacon (3-1, 4.56 ERA), who won his second straight start, allowing one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on April 27.

Chacon was scheduled to pitch in the finale of New York’s two game series with Boston on Tuesday, but the game was rained out. In his last two outings, he has lowered his ERA from 8.03 to 4.56.

“I’m commanding my offspeed pitches, which is huge for me,” Chacon said.

Chacon is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in three career appearances, including two starts, against the Rangers.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Chacon Oak vs. K. Loe SF
7-6 Record 3-6
6.36 ERA 5.86
62 K 34
63 BB 22
1.72 WHIP 1.62