The Yankee left-hander tries to win his fifth consecutive start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
After totaling 11 runs while dropping two of three at Yankee Stadium earlier this season, the Blue Jays (24-23) used a five-run sixth inning in Monday’s opener to help even the season series with New York at three games apiece.
“We need to show teams that every person in this lineup is capable of doing damage,” Bautista said.
The majors’ home run leader, Bautista has just four hits in his last 18 at-bats, but three of them have left the park. He’s batting .316 with three home runs and five RBIs against the Yankees this season, but has yet to face Sabathia (4-3, 3.06 ERA), who has dominated Bautista over the years.
Bautista is 0 for 11 with six strikeouts against Sabathia, who is 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA versus the Blue Jays since last losing to them while with Cleveland on Sept. 4, 2006.
After he gave up a season-high six runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-0 loss to Boston on May 14, Sabathia bounced back to strike out nine and not walk a batter for the first time this season in eight scoreless innings of a 13-2 win at Baltimore on Thursday.
“I try to do my part, and these guys swing the bat,” Sabathia said. “We’ve got a great lineup. It’s happening all year.”
The Yankees (25-21) did not live up to Sabathia’s praise in this series opener, recording just six hits.
Romero allowed six runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-0 loss to Detroit on May 7, but has yielded one run and seven hits his last two outings. After going 8 2-3 innings in a 2-0 win at Minnesota on May 13, the left-hander gave up a solo homer and two other hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Romero has been tough to beat in the Bronx of late, posting a 2.40 ERA while winning his last two starts there. He allowed two runs and struck out seven in six innings of a 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium on April 29 to snap a personal three-game skid overall.
Rodriguez has hit .484 with three homers and four RBIs his last seven games, but .211 (4 for 19) with five strikeouts versus Romero.