Kansas City (64-93) at New York (101-56)

Fair Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 46° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Sep 29, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While A.J. Burnett(notes) is getting ready for his first career postseason start, he may have other things on his mind as he takes the mound Tuesday night.

He’ll make his final home start before the playoffs after what was likely an emotional day as the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals continue a three-game set.

Burnett (12-9, 4.19 ERA) was originally scheduled to pitch Monday’s series opener, but had his start pushed back. He spent the day with his father, who had triple-bypass surgery.

The right-hander has endured an up-and-down season after signing an $82.5 million, five-year contract with New York (101-56) in the offseason.

Burnett, though, has alleviated some concerns with strong outings in his last two starts after going 1-3 with a 7.67 ERA in his previous five. He yielded one run over seven innings Sept. 18 and did not get a decision in a 3-2 loss at Seattle before striking out 11 and giving up two runs over 5 2-3 innings to earn a 3-2 victory over the Angels last Wednesday.

This is Burnett’s first start this year against the Royals as he seeks his 100th victory. He’s 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA against them in five career outings.

Manager Joe Girardi has indicated that 19-game winner CC Sabathia(notes) will start the first playoff game, and Burnett could get the nod for Game 2.

The Yankees rested many of their regulars for Monday’s 8-2 win after clinching the AL East and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs the day before by finishing a sweep of arch-rival Boston. Robinson Cano(notes) was one of the few mainstays to see action and hit a grand slam to key the win over the Royals (64-93).

“I think it’s important for them to relax their minds for a day or two before we turn it up again,” Girardi said.

Jorge Posada(notes) was the designated hitter and went 2 for 2 in New York’s sixth straight win. The Yankees improved to 6-0 in games started by Chad Gaudin(notes), who allowed both runs in 6 2-3 innings.

Kansas City managed four hits in its fifth loss in six games. Mark Teahen(notes) homered for the first time in 15 games.

When asked about being beaten by the Yankees secondary players, Royals manager Trey Hillman said, “Yes. Yes, they did.”

Royals rookie Anthony Lerew(notes) (0-1, 3.86) will make his second start this year. He lost his debut Thursday against Boston after surrendering four runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 10-3 loss.

Lerew came back from Tommy John surgery to make his first major league appearance since May 19, 2007. He had an 0-2 record and 8.31 ERA in 11 appearances - three starts - with Atlanta from 2005-07.

The right-hander has never faced the Yankees.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Lerew LAA vs. A. Burnett Pit
0-1 Record 13-9
4.05 ERA 4.04
7 K 195
8 BB 97
1.65 WHIP 1.40


Tuesday, Sep 29