Yankees-Nationals Preview

It’s been more than a year since Ivan Nova lost a start on the

road for the New York Yankees.

The right-hander looks to continue his success away from home

Sunday and help the AL East-leading Yankees extend their

season-high winning streak to nine games with a sweep of the

first-place Washington Nationals.

Nova (8-2, 4.64 ERA) allowed five hits in seven innings of a 3-0

victory at Atlanta on Monday to improve to 11-0 with a 3.34 ERA in

14 road starts since losing to the Angels in Anaheim on June 3,

2011.

“I made pitches when I needed it,” said Nova, who is 5-0 with a

3.92 ERA in six starts away from Yankee Stadium this season.

Making his first appearance against Washington, Nova has posted

a 2.38 ERA while winning four straight starts since losing to

Cincinnati on May 19. New York starters have a 2.24 ERA during the

eight-game run.

He’ll look to help New York (39-25) to its first nine-game

winning streak since May 13-21, 2009. Mark Teixeira’s two-run

double in the top of the 14th gave the Yankees a 5-3 victory

Saturday.

“Find a way to get it done, and that’s what our guys did,” said

New York manager Joe Girardi, whose team has won 18 of 22 to claim

the top spot in the East.

Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez each had two hits for the Yankees,

who won for the first time this season without hitting a home run.

Swisher is 7 for 14 in his last four games but could miss this

contest after leaving Saturday with a bruised quad.

Alex Rodriguez will be back in the lineup after he was relegated

to a pinch-hit appearance Saturday. He is 9 for 24 (.375) with

three doubles and three home runs versus scheduled Washington

starter Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02), who is 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA in

eight starts against the Yankees since beating them April 5, 2008,

while with Tampa Bay.

Jackson, however, has allowed three runs or fewer in seven

straight outings overall. The right-hander looks for a third

straight winning start after he gave up two runs and four hits in

eight innings of a 6-3 victory at Toronto on Monday.

“I don’t keep up with the numbers, I just try to go out and help

the team as much as I can,” Jackson told the Nationals’ official

website.

The Nationals (38-25) had won six straight before this series,

but find themselves in danger of being swept at home for the first

time since July 26-28. Ian Desmond homered in the eighth to tie the

game Saturday, but Washington stranded 11 baserunners.

Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts, is 2 for 16

in the last three games. He declined to speak to the media after

Saturday’s game.

“I would rather strike out five times in the big leagues as a

19-year-old than not be in the big leagues at all,” said Desmond,

who has homered in two of the last three contests. “I’m sure he’ll

shake it off and be back to the same energetic kid we’ve all

seen.”