Having Ivan Nova on the mound at home against the Baltimore Orioles has to make the New York Yankees feel very good about their chances of avoiding consecutive home losses for the first time this season.
Nova looks to match a franchise record with his 16th consecutive win and second against the Orioles in as many tries in 2012 on Wednesday night.
The Yankees' dominance of the Orioles was slowed with a 7-1 loss Tuesday after they took the series opener 2-1. Brian Matusz pitched into the seventh inning to end his personal 12-game skid and Chris Davis homered for one of his three hits to give manager Buck Showalter his 1,000th career win.
A serious Showalter was in no mood to celebrate.
''I'm trying to figure out how we're going to beat Nova tomorrow,'' he said.
J.J. Hardy also went deep for Baltimore, which beat the Yankees (13-10) for the first time in five meetings this season and improved to 7-22 in New York since the start of 2009.
The Orioles (15-9), who haven't won a season series against the Yankees since 1997, have their best record after 24 games since opening 17-7 in 2005.
To win again in the Bronx, Baltimore likely will have to find a way to get to Nova (3-0, 5.18 ERA), who always seems to get good run support even if he doesn't pitch well. That was the case Friday against Detroit, which reached the right-hander for six runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings before the Yankees won 7-6 on a passed ball.
New York's offense kept Nova's streak of 15 straight regular-season wins intact. He hasn't lost since June 3, 2011, and needs one more victory to tie Roger Clemens' franchise record of 16 straight, set in 2001.
During his 15-0 streak - spanning 20 starts - Nova has been supported with 8.05 runs. He's 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA in four starts against the Orioles during that stretch, with the Yankees scoring 35 runs in those games.
Nova gave up two runs through seven innings in a 6-2 victory at Camden Yards on April 9.
Davis is 4 for 7 lifetime against Nova and 10 for 21 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last seven games overall.
New York's Derek Jeter continued his stellar season with three hits - his league-leading 13th multihit game - and raised his AL-best average to .400. He's 11 for 23 (.478) against the Orioles in 2012.
Baltimore starters have turned in quality starts in eight of the last nine games, with Jake Arrieta's most recent outing the lone blemish. Since beating Minnesota with seven scoreless innings on April 6, Arrieta (1-2, 4.45) is 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in four starts.
The right-hander failed to complete six innings for the second consecutive start Friday, yielding four runs and four hits over 5 2-3 in a 5-2 loss to Oakland.
Arrieta won his first two starts - both in 2010 - against the Yankees but is winless in the past four matchups. He gave up four runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings versus New York on April 11, a game the Orioles lost 6-4 in 10 innings.
Baltimore left fielder Nolan Reimold will miss his second straight game with a bulging disk in his back.
- Ivan Nova
- Baltimore Orioles
- the Orioles