Rodriguez is sure to be showered with boos upon his return to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Monday night when the Yankees and Oakland Athletics open a three-game series.
New York (50-31) took two of three at Oakland (41-42) from April 20-22, but Braden pitched the Athletics to a 4-2 win in the series finale. That game will be remembered for an incident in which Rodriguez jogged across the mound, resulting in an outburst from the Oakland starter.
“I was just trying to convey to him that I was still out there, that ball’s in my hand and that’s my pitcher’s mound,” Braden said at the time. “If he wants to run across the pitcher’s mound. Tell him to go do laps in the bullpen.”
Rodriguez was taken aback by the pitcher’s reaction.
“I was a little surprised,” he said. “I’ve never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career. I’ve never even heard of that in my career and I still don’t know. I thought it was pretty funny, actually.”
Braden went on to throw a perfect game May 9 against Tampa Bay, but is winless in eight starts since and was placed on the disabled list Saturday due to soreness in his left elbow.
The Yankees are beginning a seven-game West Coast trip after reaching the season’s midpoint with 50 victories. New York beat Toronto 7-6 on Sunday on pinch-hitter Marcus Thames’(notes) game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning.
The A’s will try for a fourth straight home win after a 4-2 road trip against last-place clubs Baltimore and Cleveland. Oakland starters went 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA on the trip, which concluded with Vin Mazzaro(notes) pitching 7 1-3 strong innings in Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Indians.
“It definitely gives us confidence heading into this week for the Yankees series,” third baseman Adam Rosales(notes) told the Athletics’ official website. “Our pitching’s been great, so with our pitching and defense, we’ll be solid.”
The right-hander fell to 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against New York on April 21, when he yielded two runs in six innings of a 3-1 loss.
Yankees starter Javier Vazquez(notes) (6-7, 5.11) went 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts of June after going 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in the first three. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs in six innings Wednesday in a 7-0 loss to Seattle.
Vazquez gave up three runs over 5 1-3 innings to earn a 7-3 win at Oakland on April 20, improving to 3-3 with a 4.99 ERA in eight starts against the A’s.