New York (36-35) at San Francisco (30-42)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 3:55 pm EDT Sat Jun 23, 2007
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

An interesting matchup could take place when the New York Yankees and sliding San Francisco Giants continue their weekend series on Saturday at AT&T Park.

No pitcher allowed fewer homers per nine innings last season than the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang. No active player has hit as many home runs as Giants superstar Barry Bonds.

Wang (7-4, 3.33 ERA) will attempt to deny Bonds home run No. 750 and tie his career high by winning five straight starts, which he did previously from July 8-Aug. 2.

Wang allowed 0.50 homers per nine innings last season. The right-hander, who has a 2.08 ERA while winning all four of his starts this June, has surrendered four homers this season, but only one in his last eight starts.

When asked of his approach facing Bonds for the first time, Wang told the Yankees’ official web site: “Keep the ball down.”

Bonds’ 749th homer came Friday in the eighth inning off Scott Proctor - moving him within seven of breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time record - but the Yankees (36-35) ended a three-game slide with a 7-3 win. Bonds had homered only three times in his previous 36 games, but he has hit two in four career games against the Yankees.

The 42-year-old Bonds has occasionally rested in day games after night games this season for San Francisco (30-42), which is trying to avoid losing nine straight for the first time since July 23-Aug. 1.

“I don’t think we’re thinking that much about Barry trying to reach this milestone as trying to win a ballgame,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s our focus right now. We need to stop this and we know it.”

Wang struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing two runs, six hits and a walk in the Yankees’ 8-2 home win over the New York Mets on Sunday, coming one out shy of his second complete game in three appearances. He had struck out more than six just once previously.

“That’s something certainly out of character for him,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said of the strikeouts. “But it gives you an idea - when he gets that pitch working for him, the slider or changeup, that really makes a difference for him.”

Wang has a 1.95 ERA in winning all four of his starts this season on five days of rest, improving to 10-1 with a 3.65 ERA in his career with the extra day.

After throwing two consecutive complete games, Giants right-hander Matt Morris (7-4, 3.21) had his shortest start in his last outing. He allowed a season-high eight runs and nine hits in four innings of the Giants’ 9-5 loss on Sunday at Boston.

“I picked a bad time to have a bad start,” Morris told the Giants’ official web site. “I wasn’t controlling counts, and when I did, I couldn’t put anybody away. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Morris is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts against the Yankees. New York’s Bobby Abreu is 8-for-23 (.348) with two homers against him.

Although Bonds homered Friday, Alex Rodriguez was the game’s offensive star by going 4-for-4 with two RBIs in New York’s first game in San Francisco since 1962.

“As long as we win the game,” Rodriguez said, “(Bonds) can do whatever he wants.”

Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 with two runs, improving his batting average to .417 (25-for-60) over his 16-game hitting streak. Jeter also has a 24-game interleague hitting streak.

Mariano Rivera pitched 1 2-3 innings to convert his ninth straight save opportunity, the third in which he has recorded more than three outs.

Torre needs one more victory to record his 2,010th win as a manager and pass Leo Durocher for ninth place on the all-time list.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

C. Wang Cin vs. M. Morris Pit
19-7 Record 10-11
3.70 ERA 4.89
104 K 102
59 BB 61
1.29 WHIP 1.52

Scoreboard

Saturday, Jun 23