The right-hander looks for another strong outing against one of his former teams Wednesday night as the Yankees try for a second straight victory to conclude their road set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Back with the Yankees (44-27) after spending 2004 in the Bronx, Vazquez (6-6, 5.01 ERA) went 1-4 with an 8.10 ERA in his first six starts. However, since the team skipped his turn in the rotation last month, Vazquez is 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA.
“The location of my pitches is good,” Vazquez told the Yankees’ official website. “I’m aggressive in the strike zone. Things are going good. Everything feels right.”
Vazquez limited the New York Mets to one run and three hits in seven innings Saturday, but had his personal three-game winning snapped as he got charged with a 4-0 loss.
Vazquez, who went 11-15 with a 4.42 ERA for the Diamondbacks in 2005 after the Yankees dealt him in the Randy Johnson(notes) trade, had a 2.03 ERA without a decision in two starts versus Arizona last season with Atlanta. He’s 5-3 with a 3.74 ERA against his former club.
After falling 10-4 in Monday’s opener to Arizona (28-44), the AL East-leading Yankees won 9-3 on Tuesday. Alex Rodriguez(notes) went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and Derek Jeter(notes) added two hits as New York won for the third time in four games.
Mired in a 6 for 46 slump entering Tuesday’s game as he worked his way back from hip flexor tendinitis, Rodriguez has four RBIs in this series.
“Physically he looks pretty good,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Our plan is to play him (Wednesday) and that would be four days in a row, then we have three days in L.A. So if we can get through this week, it should be OK.”
Jeter has five hits in his last four games after going 0 for 11 in his previous three.
In his third start since being acquired from Detroit earlier this month, the left-hander allowed five runs in five innings of a 7-5 loss to the Tigers on Friday. Willis is 2-2 with a 4.55 ERA in 11 total starts this season.
Willis, who pitched 3 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for Florida versus the Yankees during the 2003 World Series, gave up two runs in eight innings of a 2-1 loss in his only start against them June 25, 2006, also with the Marlins.
The Diamondbacks have lost six of eight.
“We’ve just got to will ourselves to win and go from there,” Willis said.