New York (14-16) suffered just its second defeat in seven games on Monday, falling 3-2 to Seattle. The Yankees are 6-3 since losing seven in a row from April 20-27.
The Yankees swept a three-game series at Texas last week, outscoring the Rangers 19-6. Texas (13-18), though, went on to sweep a three-game weekend series from Toronto and will look to win its fourth straight contest Tuesday.
Manager Joe Torre will back in the New York dugout after serving a one-game suspension stemming from a skirmish between the Yankees and Mariners on Sunday.
Closer Mariano Rivera gave up a two-out, solo homer to Seattle’s Adrian Beltre in the ninth inning Monday to provide the deciding run. It was the second homer this season off Rivera, who gave up only three in all of 2006.
“I felt good. I was throwing strikes. One missed pitch and it was a home run,” said Rivera, who is 1-3 with an 8.44 ERA.
Andy Pettitte (1-1, 3.00 ERA) will make his second straight start against the Rangers. The 34-year-old allowed two runs and five hits in six innings last Thursday, but didn’t earn a decision in New York’s 4-3 win over Texas in the first game of a doubleheader.
The left-hander is 8-7 with a 5.61 ERA in 18 starts against the Rangers. First baseman Mark Teixeira went 1-for-2 with a walk against Pettitte in last week’s meeting, making him 8-for-16 (.500) in his career versus the veteran southpaw.
The matchup with Pettitte began a five-game stretch in which Teixeira has four multihit games to raise his batting average 27 points to .265. He went 2-for-4 with a homer Sunday as the Rangers beat the Blue Jays 3-2 to complete their first sweep of the season.
“Things didn’t go right. But then we came out against Toronto and things fell together,” said first-year Texas manager Ron Washington, whose team had dropped five straight games before facing the Blue Jays. “We pitched, we hit, we caught the ball, we ran the bases.”
The Rangers’ bats broke out over the weekend, outscoring Toronto 21-7 after scoring 10 total runs during their five-game losing streak.
“It’s important to continue, but it has nothing to do with what happened (against New York) last week,” shortstop Michael Young said. “We want to win games for the sake of winning games. We definitely want to carry this into New York, but what happened last time is the least of our concerns.”
Young, the 2005 AL batting champion who went 0-for-13 against the Yankees last week, went 8-for-13 with two homers, six RBIs and six runs scored against Toronto.
Mike Wood (0-0, 3.12), who is filling in for the injured Kevin Millwood, will take the mound for Texas on Tuesday. In his first 2007 start, Wood allowed two earned runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings in the matchup with Pettitte and the Yankees on Thursday, but did not record a decision.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA in six career games - two starts - against New York.