The New York Yankees won three close games over the weekend. If their last series with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium was any indication, continued success might not be as tough to come by in their next set.
Coming off a weekend sweep of a division leader, the Yankees look to continue their home dominance of the Orioles in the opener of a three-game series Monday night.
Homers by Mark Teixeira(notes) and Alex Rodriguez(notes), plus a strong outing from Joba Chamberlain(notes) on Sunday helped New York (54-37) to a second straight 2-1 victory over Detroit and a three-game sweep of the AL Central leaders.
After being swept by the Angels in Los Angeles heading into the All-Star break, the Yankees regrouped by outscoring Detroit 9-5 over the weekend. That success, coupled with Boston’s losing two of three to Toronto, pulled the Yankees within one game of the AL East-leading Red Sox.
“(Manager) Joe (Girardi) had a meeting after the (Angels) series and told us how proud he was of the team and that we had big things ahead of us in the second half,” Rodriguez told the Yankees’ official Web site.
New York, 29-16 at Yankee Stadium, should welcome the Orioles (41-50) after outscoring them 27-9 during a three-game sweep May 19-21. The Yankees have won seven in a row over Baltimore in the Bronx, and are 6-3 versus the Orioles overall in 2009.
Rodriguez, who’s homered in consecutive games and five times in his last six contests, is 3 for 20 versus the Orioles this season, but two of those hits left the park.
Teixeira, a Maryland native who has a team-leading 23 homers, was 4 for 10 with a home run against the Orioles in the May series at Yankee Stadium.
After going 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA against the Orioles in 2008, Andy Pettitte(notes) (8-5, 4.85 ERA) faces them for the first time this season. Pettitte is 24-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 35 career starts versus Baltimore, but 1-2 with a 7.29 ERA in his last four outings overall for the Yankees.
In his most recent start, the 37-year-old left-hander allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 14-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 11.
“The bottom line is, if you don’t pitch well, you’re not going to win,” Pettitte said.
Making his sixth start, the 24-year-old right-hander allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, but didn’t factor in the decision of a 5-3 victory at Seattle on July 8.
“You’ve just got to try and throw up zeros and give your team a chance to win,” Hernandez told the Orioles’ official Web site.
After losing his previous two outings, Mark Guthrie pitched eight solid innings Sunday in the Orioles’ 10-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Scott has 15 RBIs in his last 14 games, and is 6 for 16 (.375) versus the Yankees this season.