The New York Yankees’ longest winning streak in three years has
come at the expense of the NL. The Atlanta Braves have already
contributed to this run.
In a rare second meeting of the season between these traditional
powers, the AL East-leading Yankees try to win a 10th consecutive
game for the first time in seven years in Monday night’s series
opener with the visiting Braves.
After losing to Tampa Bay on June 7, New York (40-25) has reeled
off nine straight victories by sweeping three-game sets from the
New York Mets, Atlanta and Washington. It marks the first time the
Yankees, a major league-best 19-4 since May 22, have swept three
straight series of at least three games apiece since their 1998
That was also the last year the Yankees and Braves had two
series in one season, playing two games in the Bronx immediately
followed by two in Atlanta in late June.
In Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Nationals, Curtis Granderson and
Robinson Cano hit solo homers to back Ivan Nova’s fifth straight
victory. Granderson’s shot was his team-leading 21st and fourth in
the last eight games, while Cano is batting .381 with four homers
in his last 12 contests.
“We can talk about offense all we want; the fact is our pitching
staff is why we are here today,” Mark Teixeira said.
New York has a 1.88 ERA with 81 strikeouts over 86 innings
during the winning streak, and it’ll turn to ace CC Sabathia (8-3,
3.70 ERA) as it looks to extend its run to 10 for the first time
since May 7-17, 2005.
Sabathia wasn’t his sharpest Tuesday in Atlanta, yielding four
runs and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings, but he got some
late offensive support in a 6-4 win. With another victory over the
Braves, the left-hander will join Nova as the AL’s only nine-game
Although he got the win, Sabathia was outpitched by Mike Minor
(3-4, 6.01) last week, and the two will square off again
Minor left with one out in the eighth inning leading 4-0, but
Jonny Venters couldn’t shut it down, serving up a game-tying grand
slam to Alex Rodriguez. Two batters later, Nick Swisher, whose
status is questionable after sitting out Sunday with a bruised
quad, hit a two-run homer off Cory Gearrin.
Minor was seemingly in danger of losing his spot in the rotation
recently, but he has now yielded one run in each of his last two
starts. His previous turn was skipped because of a rainout, and
before that 11-day break the lefty had a 9.95 ERA over a six-start
While Minor has managed to get his pitching on track, Atlanta’s
offense has suddenly vanished.
The Braves (35-31) have lost six of seven and have been shut out
in back-to-back games for the first time since June 5-6, 2009. They
fell 2-0 to Baltimore on Sunday after being one-hit the night
“The only thing we need to avoid is pressing,” Chipper Jones
First baseman Freddie Freeman has missed the last four contests
with a sore finger and Dan Uggla is slumping. Uggla, who leads the
Braves with 11 homers and 41 RBIs, is hitting .095 with no RBIs in
his last seven games.