Athletics-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have not lost two in a row to the Oakland

Athletics in four years. They hope CC Sabathia can prevent it from

happening again.

Sabathia looks to become the Yankees franchise’s first pitcher

in more than a century to win 18 games in each of his first three

seasons with the club Wednesday night against the visiting A’s.

New York (77-49) has dropped two of three to Oakland since

winning 11 straight in the series. The Yankees stranded the bases

loaded in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss in Tuesday’s opener.

Oakland (58-70) has not won two straight games or a series

versus New York since taking the final two of a three-game set in

the Bronx from June 29-July 1, 2007. The A’s can accomplish both

Wednesday, but they’ll need to avoid a third consecutive loss to

Sabathia (17-7, 2.96 ERA).

The left-hander is looking to become the first Yankees pitcher

since Jack Chesbro in 1903-05 to win at least 18 games in his first

three seasons with the team – then known as the New York

Highlanders. He would be the fifth Yankee to win 18 in any three

consecutive seasons, and the first since Vic Raschi did it from

1948-51.

Sabathia allowed one run and struck out 15 in 15 2-3 innings to

win both of his starts versus Oakland in 2010. He limited the

Athletics to one hit in eight innings of a 5-0 win at Yankee

Stadium on Sept. 2.

He had suffered two straight losses overall, but got credit for

last Thursday’s 8-4 victory at Minnesota after yielding four runs

and 10 hits in seven innings, striking out nine.

“I felt good,” said Sabathia, who has allowed 10 hits in three

of his last four outings and nine in the other. “I kind of got back

to slinging the ball.”

Alex Rodriguez, meanwhile, does not feel good after he jammed

his thumb in his return from knee surgery Sunday in Minnesota.

Though X-rays were negative, it’s uncertain if he will be able to

return after missing Tuesday’s loss.

“Hopefully it gets a lot better by (Wednesday),” manager Joe

Girardi said.

Derek Jeter will be in the lineup after he had three hits

Tuesday to tie Rod Carew for 22nd all-time with 3,053. Since

recording his 3,000th hit July 9, Jeter has batted .367 with 24

RBIs in 37 games.

He’s just 2 for 10 against probable Oakland starter Trevor

Cahill (9-12, 4.17), who has struggled mightily against the Yankees

as a whole.

The right-hander is 0-4 with a 13.50 lifetime ERA against the

Yankees, and has allowed 18 runs in six innings while going 0-2 at

Yankee Stadium. He gave up 10 in two innings of a 17-7 loss July 22

in the Bronx.

“It was kind of embarrassing,” Cahill said.

He will try to avoid matching a career high for losses after

giving up seven runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-0 defeat to Toronto on

Thursday to fall to 0-3 with a 7.94 ERA in four starts since

beating Tampa Bay on July 27.

“It’s frustrating because I feel like I’ve figured it out over a

couple of starts and then I’ll go into a funk for a couple of

starts,” Cahill said. “There’s just been no consistency.”

First baseman Brandon Allen hit a pair of tape-measure home runs

Tuesday as Oakland won for the fifth time in seven games. Acquired

from Arizona at the trade deadline, Allen is 13 for 33 (.394) in 10

games since being called up Aug. 13.