As their final season at Yankee Stadium winds down, the New York Yankees are finally playing the kind of baseball they used to make 13 straight postseason appearances entering this year.
The Yankees look for their seventh win in eight games as they play the final day game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles.
New York (83-71) is close to being eliminated from both the AL East and wild-card races, and it’s possible that could come during Sunday night’s final game at the “House That Ruth Built.” The Yankees, though, have played very well on their final homestand at the stadium built in 1923, winning six of the first eight games after a 3-2 win over Baltimore (67-85) on Friday.
The victory ended with Mariano Rivera pitching a scoreless ninth inning for his 37th save of the season, and 22nd in 24 chances over his career against the Orioles at home. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has already said Rivera will pitch the ninth inning Sunday, regardless of whether it is a save situation.
It’s been a strong homestand for captain Derek Jeter, perhaps the Yankee most synonymous with the franchise’s recent glory days as it makes the transition to a new stadium in the Bronx. Jeter is hitting .483 (14-for-29) with six runs in his last eight games, and has raised his average to .305 after being below. 300 for most of the year.
“This is definitely a wonderful place to play,” Jeter told the Yankees’ official Web site. “A lot of memories here.”
With eight games left, it’s unlikely Jeter - who has 179 hits - will record his fourth straight 200-hit season and seventh of his career.
Baltimore’s Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis, meanwhile, are trying to become the first trio of teammates with at least 50 doubles each. Roberts has 50, two more than Huff and three ahead of Markakis.
The Yankees will give Alfredo Aceves (1-0, 1.80 ERA) his third career start on Saturday. He’s 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the first two after making two appearances out of the bullpen.
The rookie right-hander did not get a decision Monday against the Chicago White Sox after he allowed two runs over six innings in a 4-2 victory in his first start at Yankee Stadium.
The Orioles have lost all five games Brian Burres (7-9, 6.32) has appeared in at Yankee Stadium, including two of his starts. The left-hander will make his first start since Aug. 31 with Daniel Cabrera on the disabled list.
“He started before and he’s probably the most stretched-out guy,” manager Dave Trembley said about Burres.
Burres has actually pitched very well in both of his starts at Yankee Stadium, going 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA. He’s 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts against New York this year.