With major league baseball's drug investigation posing a distraction for both the New York Yankees and San Diego, the Padres appear to be handling things better than their current opponent.
The Padres look to build on a convincing series-opening victory over the visiting Yankees on Saturday night.
One of 14 players facing lengthy suspensions for their ties to the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, Everth Cabrera matched a career high with four hits and San Diego (51-59) hit three homers in Friday's 7-2 win over New York.
The Padres have won eight of 11, but could soon be without their All-Star shortstop for some time. Monday appears to be the deadline for the players to accept suspensions related to MLB's probe.
"I can't say anything about that,'' said Cabrera, batting .285 and leading the NL with 37 steals.
He is willing to talk about his team's recent play.
"We have been better the last two weeks, competing a lot and everyone puts something to help the team to win the games," said Cabrera, who is 10 for 20 in the last four interleague games. "We have to keep doing this.''
Though New York (56-52) has played the entire season without injured star Alex Rodriguez, his ties to the scandal continue to dominate the headlines. Rehabbing from hip and quad injuries, Rodriguez appears poised to join the Yankees in Chicago on Monday to face the White Sox.
"I think it's possible,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Rodriquez, who will likely appeal any suspension.
Even with Curtis Granderson back from missing more than two months with the broken finger, New York can use any help after averaging 3.1 runs during a stretch of 10 losses in 15 games.
Starter CC Sabathia drove home one of the Yankees' two runs Friday. Granderson went 0 for 4 in his return. Derek Jeter had a hit but is 4 for 19 in five games this season.
Things might not get much easier for New York based on the way Padres starter Tyson Ross (2-4, 2.90 ERA) has pitched of late.
After making 19 straight relief appearances following a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, Ross has allowed one run, five hits and struck out 13 in 14 innings to win two straight starts. He gave up three hits and fanned seven in eight innings to outpitch Arizona All-Star Patrick Corbin in Sunday's 1-0 victory.
"It's a great confidence builder," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official website about Ross, who is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts this season. "Somebody told me once, if you do it one time, you can do it again."
The right-hander hopes to avoid the kind of outing he had in his only start against the Yankees for Oakland last season, when he yielded six runs and 12 hits, including three homers, in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-3 defeat.
New York counters with Ivan Nova (4-4, 3.41 ERA), who has not received a run of support in his last two outings. The right-hander allowed four total runs and walked six while going seven innings in each contest.
Nova, 2-3 with a 2.39 ERA as a starter since June 23, was outpitched by Tampa Bay's Chris Archer in taking last Saturday's 1-0 loss.
"You got to stay trying to keep the game close, hoping that they're going to score a run at some point," Nova told the Yankees' official website. "That's the only thing that I can do."
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