The New York Yankees are getting some impressive performances from their depleted rotation this week.
Freddy Garcia will try to follow suit and win his third straight start Wednesday night as the Yankees look for a third consecutive win over the Texas Rangers.
This four-game set between AL heavyweights has been one-sided so far, with New York (69-47) outscoring Texas 11-2 in winning the first two in the Bronx.
With CC Sabathia back on the disabled list and Andy Pettitte still out, David Phelps and Derek Lowe stepped in to key Monday's 8-2 victory. Hiroki Kuroda then dominated the powerful Rangers on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finishing with a two-hitter in a 3-0 victory.
"Man, these games are a lot of fun to play in," said outfielder Nick Swisher, whose tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh helped the Yankees win for the sixth time in seven games.
The Rangers (67-48) continue to lead the majors in runs - by three over New York - but they have been held to two or fewer four times in their last five games.
"We were swinging at everything," star outfielder Josh Hamilton said Tuesday.
They'll hope to get untracked against Garcia (6-5, 4.85 ERA), who has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts since re-entering the rotation in place of Pettitte at the beginning of July.
The right-hander, who had a 12.51 ERA in four April outings before being sent to the bullpen, has yielded four runs over 11 innings in winning his last two starts. He didn't walk anybody in six strong innings during Friday's 10-4 win at Toronto.
"When his velocity is up most of his other pitches are crisper," catcher Russell Martin said. "That's really the big difference. His velocity was down when he was getting banged around a little bit and now that he's gotten velocity back, he's much better."
That was Garcia's first win at Toronto in more than a decade, but he's had much more success versus Texas.
He hasn't lost to the Rangers since 2004, going 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts. Garcia last faced them April 16, 2011, allowing two hits over six scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory.
Middle infielders Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus are a combined 2 for 22 with one walk versus Garcia.
Texas counters with Scott Feldman (6-7, 4.64), who had won six consecutive decisions before losing Friday to Detroit. He allowed one run through his first five innings and was one out away from finishing the sixth when Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer to power the Tigers' 6-2 win.
"I threw the ball well for the majority of the game, it was just that pitch there to Prince I wish I could have back," Feldman told the Rangers' official website.
The right-hander has been throwing well since the All-Star break. That was only the second homer he's allowed over four starts spanning 28 1-3 innings in that stretch, during which Feldman is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA.
Derek Jeter, who is batting .403 in his last 15 games, is 5 for 13 with a pair of homers against Feldman. Curtis Granderson, slumping with one hit and eight strikeouts in his last 18 at-bats, is 5 for 9 with three homers and three walks in the matchup.
- Freddy Garcia
- Texas Rangers
- The New York Yankees
- Andy Pettitte