Yankees-Orioles Preview


A season-opening three-game losing streak may have had some New York Yankees fans concerned.

That's a feeling they rarely have when facing the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees look to build off their first win and continue their mastery of the Orioles on Tuesday night when the teams play the middle contest of a three-game series at Camden Yards.

While the other three teams in the AL East have presented problems for the Yankees (1-3) the last few seasons, they can always rely on racking up wins against the Orioles. Since the start of 2009, New York has won 40 of 55 games versus Baltimore, including a 19-9 mark at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (3-1) haven't won a season series against the Yankees since 1997, splitting 18 meetings in 2007.

Monday's series opener was more of the same, as New York scored three runs in the fourth inning to back a strong start from Ivan Nova in a 6-2 victory. Derek Jeter went 4 for 4 and Andruw Jones homered to help New York avoid the fourth 0-4 start in franchise history and first since 1973.

"It's nice to shake hands again. You go all winter, and in spring training not many of us are there in the ninth inning to shake hands,'' first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "It's nice to go through the line again.''

No Yankee enjoys playing in Baltimore more than Robinson Cano, who is batting .448 (44 for 98) with seven homers, nine doubles and 17 RBIs in his last 23 games there.

Matt Wieters homered and matched a career high with four hits for the Orioles, who were bidding for their second consecutive 4-0 start. Baltimore went 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and is 6 for 33 (.182) this season in RBI situations.

Probable Tuesday starter Freddy Garcia had a solid first season with the Yankees in 2011, but didn't lock up a spot in this year's rotation until Michael Pineda was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

The veteran right-hander went 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 games - 25 starts - last season, winning five of his final six decisions.

He went 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA in five starts this spring.

Garcia was outstanding in his first three outings against the Orioles last season before a dismal performance Sept. 5, when he was tagged for seven runs and nine hits over 2 2-3 innings of an 11-10 win.

Baltimore third baseman Mark Reynolds, who got his first two hits of the season Monday, is 4 for 12 with a pair of homers against Garcia.

Wei-Yin Chen makes his major league debut for the Orioles after signing a three-year, $11.3 million contract on Jan. 13. The 26-year-old left-hander went 36-30 with a 2.48 ERA in 117 games - 88 starts - over the last four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League.

Although he's never pitched against any of them, Chen is familiar with the Yankees.

"I heard about them in Taiwan and Japan. They are really big names over there, too.''

Chen was 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in five spring games.