New York Yankees starter Andy Pettitte says his pitches are
finally cooperating during his three-start winning streak.
That’s usually the case when he faces the Baltimore Orioles.
The veteran has won eight straight regular-season decisions
against the Orioles and hasn’t lost to them in the Bronx in over 14
years as he tries to help the Yankees complete a three-game sweep
Pettitte (10-9, 4.05 ERA) has owned one of the highest opponent
batting averages throughout this season, with a current mark of
.288. He’s limited hitters to a .221 average during this streak in
which he has yielded four runs – one earned – over 19 2-3 innings
after he was on course to finish with a losing record for the first
time in his 18-year career.
“The biggest thing, like I said for several months, the pitches
weren’t doing what they’re supposed to do,” Pettitte said. “They’re
cooperating right now. Hopefully they’ll cooperate the rest of the
Pettitte is 8-0 with a 2.99 ERA in his last 11 starts against
the Orioles (71-63), not including a loss in Game 2 of last year’s
division series. He’s 9-0 with a 2.44 ERA in his last 11 home
starts against them since July 5, 1999.
The left-hander’s 28 regular-season wins over the Orioles rank
him second since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954. Fellow
southpaw and former Yankees great Whitey Ford is first with 30.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter may want to bench J.J. Hardy, who
is hitless in 13 at-bats and 2 for 23 overall including postseason
Showalter will give Mike Morse his Orioles debut Sunday – the
day rosters expand – after the slugger was acquired Friday from
“We’ve got a lot of moving parts right now and hopefully Mike
Morse will get a good night’s sleep and be ready to start his
career as an Oriole we hope,” Showalter said.
New York (72-63) moved one-half game in front of Baltimore in
the playoff race by winning 8-5 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday.
Orioles nemesis Robinson Cano is 4 for 7 with four RBIs and
three runs scored in the series, returning in strong fashion after
missing a game when he was hit by a pitch Tuesday in Toronto. Cano
is hitting .365 with three homers and 10 RBIs in a season series
even at seven wins apiece.
It’s unclear if Alex Rodriguez will be in New York’s lineup
after he was scratched Saturday because of flulike symptoms. Former
Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds moved from first to third base and
Lyle Overbay played first.
The Yankees are 25-18 against left-handed starters as they face
the first of four straight in Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.76), who is
hoping to bounce back in September after going 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA
in five August outings.
Chen defeated Pettitte in that division series matchup last year
by yielding two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 home victory. He’s
1-3 with a 5.10 ERA in five career regular-season outings against
the Yankees, going 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in two on the road.
Cano is 4 for 16 overall against Chen, Derek Jeter is 5 for 16
and Curtis Granderson is 2 for 11.
Major league home run leader Chris Davis is 5 for 14 with a
homer overall against Pettitte, but 5 for 27 with one homer and 13
strikeouts in the Bronx this year.