New York (83-56) at Baltimore (62-78)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 4:35 pm EDT Sat Sep 9, 2006
  • TV: YES, WNUV
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Not only has Chien-Ming Wang emerged as the New York Yankees’ top starter, but he’s also become an unlikely candidate for the AL Cy Young Award.

He’ll try to tie Minnesota’s Johan Santana for the major league lead in victories on Saturday afternoon when the Yankees continue their four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

Wang (16-5, 3.69 ERA) is 8-1 with a 2.88 ERA over his last 11 outings, supplanting veterans Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina as New York’s most consistent starter. He’s 4-0 with a 4.03 ERA in six road starts in that span.

The right-hander failed to receive a decision on Tuesday after allowing three runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 12-5 victory at Kansas City.

Wang has never beaten Baltimore (62-78), going 0-1 with a 4.87 ERA in three career starts.

New York (83-56) fell to 2-2 on its seven-game road trip with a 9-4 loss on Friday. The Yankees, who fell behind 7-0 after two innings, remained nine games ahead of second-place Boston and have a magic number of 14 to clinch a ninth straight AL East title.

“This game was out of hand early. We never really caught up,” New York manager Joe Torre said.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter had an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. He’s 29-for-74 with 12 runs scored during the run.

Jeter’s batting average fell from .344 to .343 with the 1-for-4 effort. He trails Minnesota’s Joe Mauer by five points for the AL lead.

Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is batting .171 (7-for-41) with 10 strikeouts against Baltimore this year—matching his lowest average against any opponent. He’s 2-for-20 at Camden Yards.

Right fielder Bobby Abreu is hitless in his last 11 at-bats for New York. Abreu, known for his plate discipline, has drawn only two walks over his last 10 games.

Baltimore snapped a four-game losing streak after chasing New York starter Cory Lidle in the second inning. Jay Gibbons hit a three-run homer—his first since July 30— to stake the Orioles to their seven-run lead.

“That was the first heater I’ve turned on in about six weeks,” Gibbons said.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Orioles. Tejada is 26-for-52 with 10 RBIs against the Yankees this season.

Baltimore has won three straight games against New York to improve to 6-7 in the season series.

Orioles rookie Adam Loewen (5-4, 5.55) is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA over his last four outings. He struck out seven and gave up three runs over five innings in beating Oakland 6-5 last Saturday.

“The offense has been doing a good job all season and it’s up to the pitchers to hold down the other team,” Loewen said. “We’ve been doing a better job of that lately.”

Loewen’s unbeaten run started when he beat New York 3-2 on Aug. 16, allowing two runs in 5 2-3 innings. The 22-year-old right-hander also made his third career start against the Yankees in his home debut on June 3 and gave up four runs over five innings in a 6-5, 10-inning defeat.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Wang Cin vs. A. Loewen NYM
19-6 Record 6-6
3.63 ERA 5.37
76 K 98
52 BB 62
1.31 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 9