Yankees-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

The New York Yankees have regrouped since a difficult stretch but face a formidable challenge in their next series.

The Yankees not only have to attempt to end the Oakland Athletics' recent home dominance but also try to snap Bartolo Colon's string of stellar outings in Tuesday night's opener of a three-game set.

New York (37-26) earned its sixth win in seven games Sunday - 2-1 over Seattle - on Chris Stewart's ninth-inning single and took three of four over the Mariners to open its 10-game West Coast road trip. The Yankees, though, now face a team that's won eight straight home games and will have its top starter on the mound.

Colon (7-2, 3.14 ERA) is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his last four starts and pitched a five-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on May 31 in his only home game over that stretch. That run has come while rumors continue to swirl about his future.

Colon is among a number of players being investigated for their involvement with Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs. Colon served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.

He would appear to be in for a struggle in his next start as he's 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA in his last five starts against the Yankees, but he had a respectable performance in his only matchup this season. Colon, who pitched for the Yankees in 2011 before heading to Oakland, gave up three runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-2 defeat May 4.

That was the only loss for Oakland (38-27) in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, and it's won four straight at home over New York. The A's, though, will have to face CC Sabathia.

Sabathia (6-4, 3.74) is 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA in his last seven matchups, and the Bay Area native is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last three visits to Oakland. He also enters this game having won back-to-back starts but is 0-2 with a 6.29 ERA in his last four on the road.

Sabathia recorded his first complete game this season Wednesday against Cleveland, throwing a seven-hitter in a 6-4 win that was the 197th of his career.

"He looked real good. He had no-hit stuff," outfielder Brett Gardner told the team's website. "He looked really good. The final line, he gave up four runs, but I thought he pitched great."

The A's home win streak is their longest since a 10-game run Aug. 11-Sept. 1, 2006, and Oakland had won 18 of 21 overall before suffering back-to-back losses to the Chicago White Sox this weekend.

The A's pitchers have posted an AL-best 2.63 ERA in those 23 games after putting up a 4.35 ERA in their first 42.

"We know we have the guys here who can pitch. Early on they kind of got off to a little rough start and the bats were able to pick them up. But lately what's been separating us from the other teams is our pitching by far," third baseman Josh Donaldson said.

Before its current surge, Sabathia had accounted for New York's lone victory in an eight-game span.

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