New York (38-30) at Philadelphia (35-35)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Jun 20, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Yankees haven’t been coming through with runners in scoring position during a three-game slide.

They’ll try to end the losing streak when they send Mike Mussina to the mound Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

New York (38-30) is 4-for-27 with runners in scoring position during its skid after going 1-for-9 in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Phillies in the opener of a three-game set. The Yankees stranded 11 runners against Philadelphia (35-35), leaving the bases loaded in the first and seventh innings in their eighth loss in 11 games.

“Right now we can’t afford to allow little things to happen,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “We have to be as tight as can be with pitching and defense because we’re scuffling.”

The Yankees are 2-5 in interleague play this season, all on the road, compiling a 5.31 ERA in those games.

New York shortstop Derek Jeter continues to shine in interleague action, going 13-for-31 with five runs this season. He’s the all-time leader with 211 interleague hits.

Mussina (8-3, 3.14 ERA) will try to help New York get back on track in his first career start at Citizens Bank Park. He’s 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts against the Phillies, whom he hasn’t faced since 2001.

The right-hander has lost consecutive starts for the first time this season after surrendering season highs of six runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss to Cleveland last Thursday. It marked the first time this year he failed to last at least six innings.

“You know there is going to be peaks and valleys,” Mussina said. “It’s still frustrating when you bump into one of these days.”

Mussina is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA in his last four road starts.

He’ll likely face Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard after the Phillies left-handed sluggers were not in the lineup Monday against Randy Johnson.

Abreu is one of several Phillies regulars who have struggled against Mussina, going 2-for-13. David Bell is 3-for-18, Aaron Rowand 1-for-13 and Pat Burrell 1-for-8 against the right-hander.

Burrell delivered a two-run double in the fourth inning Monday that gave Philadelphia the lead for good. The left fielder has struggled in June, batting .216 (11-for-51).

Tom Gordon earned his 20th save in 21 chances with a perfect ninth inning. Gordon served as New York’s setup man for Mariano Rivera the previous two seasons.

Phillies starter Cory Lidle (4-6, 4.89) is 0-2 with a 5.04 ERA over his last five outings. Lidle has not fared well at home, going 3-5 with a 5.65 ERA in nine outings.

The veteran right-hander has pitched well against the Yankees, going 6-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 13 games, including 10 starts. He won his lone interleague start this year against Boston, giving up three runs over six innings of a 10-5 victory May 21.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Mussina NYY vs. C. Lidle NYY
15-7 Record 12-10
3.51 ERA 4.85
172 K 130
35 BB 58
1.11 WHIP 1.40