Yankees-Blue Jays Preview

The last time Alex Rodriguez returned after missing some action,

he came through in a big way.

The New York Yankees are hoping that scenario repeats itself,

with Rodriguez expected to be in the lineup Wednesday night against

Brett Cecil and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rodriguez missed his second straight game because of a sore left

side as the Yankees (9-6) fell 6-5 in 10 innings in Tuesday’s

opener of this two-game set. He expects to play Wednesday.

“Maybe if it was September, in the middle of a pennant race,

perhaps I could have strapped it on today,” Rodriguez said. “But

considering where we are in the schedule, why not take that extra

day?”

Rodriguez took 40 to 50 swings in the batting cage before the

game and also fielded grounders. Eric Chavez replaced him at third

base.

The Yankees superstar missed a game at Boston April 10, and

returned with a three-run homer in his first at-bat in his next

game.

Cecil (1-1, 6.19 ERA) should be a tough opponent for the Yankees

after he went 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts against them last

season. Rodriguez was one of only two New York hitters to homer off

him in those games, as Toronto won all of them.

Rodriguez is 4 for 14 against him and Derek Jeter 6 for 19.

Cecil has been better against Mark Teixeira (3 for 15) and Curtis

Granderson (1 for 12).

After two poor outings to start 2011, Cecil limited Boston to

three runs over six innings to notch his first victory, 7-6 on

Friday. The left-hander improved to 12-2 with a 3.53 ERA in his

last 16 starts against AL East opponents.

Toronto (8-9) ended a three-game skid by rallying from two runs

down in the ninth to hand Mariano Rivera his first blown save

Tuesday. Yunel Escobar scored on Rivera’s wild pitch that was ball

four to Jose Bautista, who later scored the tying run on John

McDonald’s squeeze bunt.

Travis Snider doubled in the winning run in the 10th.

“That’s all the inspiration we need as players is to see what we

did in the ninth inning against Mariano,” Snider said. “To be able

to give ourselves a chance, to go out there and just have that

shot, I’m very thankful for it.”

Rivera had converted his first seven save chances. He allowed

runs in an April appearance for the first time since April 30,

2009, snapping a streak of 17 1-3 scoreless innings.

Bautista hit his fourth homer and Edwin Encarnacion had three

hits for the Blue Jays, who had scored one run in each of three

straight losses in Boston.

The Yankees’ Bartolo Colon (0-1, 3.97) will make his first start

since July 24, 2009, with the Chicago White Sox. The veteran

right-hander has been inserted into the rotation after Phil Hughes

went on the 15-day disabled list Friday.

The 37-year-old Colon went 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 starts for

the White Sox in 2009. His 8-3 record with a 3.65 ERA in 19 career

starts against Toronto probably won’t mean much since the only Blue

Jay with more than five career at-bats against him is Corey

Patterson (3 for 11).