Winless since his 250th career victory, Pettitte will try to end his woes by leading the Yankees to another win over the Rangers.
At one point during its 10-game homestand, New York (42-34) suffered its seventh loss in nine contests but has gotten back on track by winning three of its last four. The Yankees have batted .254 and scored 18 runs in those four games after hitting .194 and producing 27 runs during their 2-7 stretch.
They also have a 3.00 ERA in the past four contests after posting a 5.06 mark in the previous nine.
New York’s pitchers managed to keep Texas from adding to a two-run lead Tuesday, and that allowed the Yankees to rally for a 4-3 victory. Ichiro Suzuki kept his team out of extra innings with a two-out homer in the ninth, his team’s fourth of the game.
New York had hit four home runs in its prior 15 games.
“Love it,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Sometimes it’s tough to score runs when you’re not hitting home runs. We got enough tonight.”
The win was the 12th in the past 16 matchups with the Rangers (44-33), who had won a season-high five in a row, and 12th in the last 14 home meetings.
Pettitte (5-5, 4.20) will seek to help New York beat Texas again while trying to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time since 2008.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his two starts since becoming the 45th pitcher to reach the 250-win plateau. He gave up five runs over 6 2-3 innings Thursday in an 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
“I just need to be better,” Pettitte told the team’s website. “I need to shut these guys down once in a while and give us a chance to score first one time instead of always being in a hole. And I feel like I’m putting us in a hole every time out right now.”
Pettitte is 13-10 with a 4.82 ERA in 27 career starts against the Rangers, including four in the postseason, and will face them for the first time since an 8-0 loss in Game 3 of the 2010 ALCS.
Justin Grimm meanwhile, will make his first appearance against the Yankees as he looks to build on his best outing in what’s been a difficult month. Grimm (6-5, 5.57) gave up three runs over five innings in last Wednesday’s 9-4 victory over Oakland after going 0-2 with an 11.40 ERA in his first three starts in June.
“He’s been working hard, and he’s been battling,” manager Ron Washington told the team’s website. “It’s always been one inning for him, but tonight we were able to come back, get back in the ballgame, take the lead and hold on to it.”
Girardi’s next win will be the 600th of his career. He’s earned 521 of those wins in his six seasons with New York.
With his next victory, Pettitte will tie Bob Gibson for 44th on the all-time list.