Royals-Yankees Preview

CC Sabathia and James Shields have met in some tight duels since the former joined the New York Yankees and when the latter pitched for Tampa Bay.

Sabathia could be more confident Tuesday night when these two meet for the first time since Shields was traded to the Kansas City Royals.

Sabathia has won 13 straight regular-season starts against AL Central foes while Shields has dropped his last six starts at Yankee Stadium.

These pitchers met six times between 2009-12, with Shields (3-6, 3.23 ERA) going 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA in those outings and Sabathia 1-2 with a 2.89 mark.

The Yankees left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts against Kansas City (42-44) since joining New York in 2009 - part of his amazing run against the Central.

Sabathia (9-6, 4.06) earned his 200th career win Wednesday by allowing two runs over seven innings of a 3-2 victory at Minnesota. His ERA is 2.50 during his regular-season run against the Central, and he's 8-0 with a 2.60 ERA in 14 overall home outings versus that division with New York.

"I'll be ready in five days to go again and just try to get No. 201," Sabathia said.

Shields has been plagued by a poor run-support average of 3.32. Although he has pitched well opposite Sabathia, he has posted a 4.97 ERA during his six-start losing streak in the Bronx.

The Royals have won his last seven outings, with Shields going 1-0 with a 3.71 ERA. His ERA in the last three, though, is 6.48.

Robinson Cano is hitting .392 with four homers against Shields in 79 at-bats - second most among all players.

The visiting team has won all four meetings this season. New York (48-41) swept a three-game set May 10-12 before Kansas City opened this four-game series with a 5-1 victory Monday.

Billy Butler ended an eight-game home run drought and Jeremy Guthrie took advantage of a makeshift lineup by limiting the Yankees to one run and six hits through 6 2-3 innings. The Royals snapped a five-game overall slide to New York.

"It's been tough every year I've been here to come in and get a win," Butler said. "It means a lot."

The Yankees had four players in their lineup that were with the team on opening day. Travis Ishikawa was acquired off waivers earlier in the day and struck out in both at-bats in his New York debut.

Ishikawa started at first base in place of Lyle Overbay, who had started 20 of the previous 21 games. Overbay homered as a pinch-hitter and manager Joe Girardi said he would be back in the lineup Tuesday.

"Physically this is a grind," Girardi said. "You think about the last couple days that we have, the heat, guys can get a little tired."

Overbay is hitting .295 with three homers off Shields.

Butler has two hits in his last 14 at-bats against Sabathia while Alex Gordon is 5 for 25 lifetime against him.

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