Los Angeles (52-33) at New York (41-42)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY, US
Temp: 59° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 6, 2007
  • TV: FSW, YES
Preview | Box Score | Recap

There may have been an ulterior motive for New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to miss his first game of the season: he was resting up to face Los Angeles Angels pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Despite a current 0-for-19 slump and a strained hamstring, Rodriguez may still get a chance to extend his domination over Colon as the Yankees open a three-game series Friday against the Angels at Yankee Stadium.

The All-Star third baseman sat for the first time Thursday as the Yankees (40-42) recorded a 7-6 victory over Minnesota. Rodriguez, who tripped over Twins first baseman Justin Morneau running out a ground ball on Monday, went 0-for-4 on Tuesday while playing the field and 0-for-4 on Wednesday as the designated hitter before being a spectator in the series finale.

“He was a little uncomfortable yesterday,” said Yankees manager Joe Torre, who listed Rodriguez as questionable for this game. “I don’t think it’s anything more than it was, but probably a couple of days playing on it exposed it a little bit more. We still don’t think that it’s anything that’s going to require anything more than maybe a day or so off.”

Colon (6-4, 5.79 ERA) may be secretly hoping Rodriguez - the major league leader with 28 homers and 80 RBIs - takes another day off. Rodriguez is batting .444 (20-for-45) with eight homers and 17 RBIs against Colon, hitting three of them in a 12-4 rout April 26, 2005, in which he ended up with a career-high 10 RBIs.

Rodriguez hit a three-run homer in the first, a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the fourth of that game.

The Angels right-hander is 0-2 in his last three starts, but pitched OK in his last outing. He gave up three runs in six innings to Baltimore on Saturday, but lost 6-3.

Colon is 4-5 with a 5.32 ERA in 11 starts and 12 overall appearances against the Yankees, and has beaten them only once in his last five starts.

The Yankees are 4-3 on their current 10-game homestand that runs to the All-Star break.

Yankees starter Andy Pettitte (4-6, 3.77) hopes this is where his recent slump ends. He was roughed up for a season-high eight runs in 1 2-3 innings - his shortest start in more than four years - in an 11-5 loss to Oakland on Sunday.

“Obviously, everything was fat today,” Pettitte said.

Pettitte is 0-2 with an 8.80 ERA in his last three starts, giving up 16 runs and 26 hits in 15 1-3 innings. In addition to his struggles on the mound, the Yankees have struggled at the plate in those games, giving him just three runs of support.

The left-hander will be facing the Angels for the first time since 2003, and has an 11-6 lifetime record against them in 20 starts. He is 6-2 with a 3.69 ERA in nine starts versus Los Angeles at home, winning his last four outings.

The Angels (52-33), who swept a three-game series at Yankee Stadium from May 25-27, are 12-7 there since the start of the 2004 season.

Los Angeles, though, was fortunate to salvage the final contest of a three-game series at Texas with a 5-2 victory on Thursday. AL All-Star snub Kelvim Escobar limited the Rangers to one run in seven innings for his 10th win, and Garret Anderson, Macier Izturis and Jose Molina - the 7-8-9 hitters for the Angels - went a combined 5-for-12 with three runs and three RBIs.

“Outside of a couple of pitches, he pitched a terrific ball game and shut down a lineup that has been scoring a lot of runs,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s an All-Star no doubt about it.”

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Starting Pitchers

B. Colón ATL vs. A. Pettitte NYY
6-8 Record 15-9
6.34 ERA 4.05
76 K 141
29 BB 69
1.62 WHIP 1.43