The New York Yankees have been on a roll since they last faced the Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Tillman They’ll try for a season-high sixth straight win Saturday when they face the visiting Orioles, who have won eight straight outings by Tillman.
New York (47-39) fell four games behind second-place Baltimore (48-39) in the AL East after getting swept in three games at Camden Yards last weekend. The Yankees have bounced back by matching their longest win streak of the year to move within one-half game of the Orioles.
Baltimore’s sweep was capped by a 4-2 victory Sunday in which Tillman (10-2, 3.68 ERA) gave up two runs over six innings to win his sixth start in a row. He’s 7-0 with a 3.86 ERA in his past eight outings.
The right-hander has gone 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA in seven road starts, but he has a poor history in the Bronx, going 2-2 with a 9.95 ERA that’s his worst mark in any ballpark in which he’s pitched more than once.
Robinson Cano homered off Tillman last weekend and is 10 for 19 against him overall.
Cano is hitless in seven at-bats since a torrid six-game stretch in which he went 14 for 24 with four homers and 10 RBIs. He was intentionally walked twice in a 3-2 victory Friday.
“He’s one of the best players in the game, no disrespect to anybody hitting behind him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
The Yankees ended a five-game losing streak to the Orioles by rallying Friday to open this three-game set. They scored twice in the ninth off closer Jim Johnson with Vernon Wells singling in the winning run past a drawn-in infield.
“It’s good,” Wells said. “Momentum’s on our side. This is a fun one. We needed one of these.”
Baltimore also lost 3-2 on Thursday in the bottom of the ninth when it surrendered a tiebreaking homer to Chicago’s Adam Dunn
New York is batting .237 against Baltimore, scoring more than three runs twice in 10 meetings.
The Orioles, though, have struck out at least 10 times in three straight games for the first time. They struck out 11 times Friday against Ivan Nova who pitched a three-hitter.
“It’s easy to say you’re running into some good pitching, but you do every night in the big leagues,” Showalter said. “We’ve got lot of guys capable of swinging it better and giving us some margin for error.”
Baltimore will get its first look at Andy Pettitte (5-6, 4.40) since beating him in Game 2 of the division series last year. Pettitte gave up three runs over seven innings of that 3-2 defeat Oct. 8.
The left-hander, however, has gone 7-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last 10 regular-season outings against the Orioles. He has 27 regular-season wins over them, second all-time behind Whitey Ford’s 30 since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954.
Major league home run leader Chris Davis is 4 for 11 against Pettitte, including postseason. Davis has hit .353 with five homers and nine RBIs in the season series to help Baltimore take six of 10.