Yankees-Orioles Preview

There might not be anyone more excited about playing in

Baltimore than Robinson Cano.

Cano looks to continue his torrid hitting at Camden Yards and

help the Yankees remain perfect against the Orioles this season in

Wednesday night’s series opener.

Cano got off to a hot start to the year, batting .319 with eight

home runs and 21 RBIs in his first 23 games, but has cooled off and

has hit .228 with a homer and four RBIs in his last 16.

A two-game series in Baltimore could help him regain his

stroke.

Cano has a 15-game hitting streak at Camden Yards, batting .531,

and is hitting .510 with nine homers, 11 doubles, 19 RBIs and 26

runs in his last 23 games there.

The All-Star second baseman was 4 for 10 with an RBI as New York

(21-19) swept a rain-shortened two-game series in Baltimore in

April. The Yankees have won the first four meetings of the season

with the Orioles (19-21), and are 17-5 against them since the start

of 2010.

Curtis Granderson, who leads New York with 14 homers, has also

enjoyed facing the Orioles, batting .315 with six home runs and 24

RBIs in his last 33 games against them.

The Yankees arrive in Baltimore after defeating Tampa Bay 6-2 on

Tuesday, snapping a six-game losing streak.

“We needed a win,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t want to

say must-win, but as close as you can get to a must-win in the

month of May.”

Jorge Posada doubled and singled while batting seventh in his

first start since pulling himself out of the lineup Saturday, when

he was set to bat ninth.

“It feels good to be back in the lineup and be able to

contribute,” Posada said.

Alex Rodriguez also finally started producing again offensively,

homering twice. The three-time AL MVP had batted .171 with a home

run and six RBIs in his previous 21 games.

“My struggles have been really unacceptable, but hopefully today

was the start of good things to come,” Rodriguez said.

It seems Rodriguez could be poised for another big game, as he

is batting .538 with two homers, three doubles and 11 RBIs against

the Orioles this season.

Baltimore’s game in Boston on Tuesday was postponed because of

rain. That gave the Orioles, winners of five of seven, another 24

hours to re-evaluate first baseman Derrek Lee’s status.

Lee, who suffered a strained left oblique Monday, would have

been placed on the disabled list had Tuesday’s game taken

place.

“We’ve got another day to look at it to see if there’s any

drastic improvement,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Rookie Zach Britton (5-2, 2.42 ERA), scheduled to start Tuesday,

will instead make his first career appearance against the

Yankees.

The left-hander is coming off his best outing, limiting Seattle

to three hits without a walk in nine scoreless innings Thursday.

The Orioles, however, failed to score for him for a second straight

start before going on to win 2-1 in 12 innings.

Britton has yielded one or no runs in five of eight starts, and

the Orioles have gone 6-2 with him on the mound, compared to 13-19

in starts by other pitchers.

Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.74) allowed three runs in six innings of

the Yankees’ 5-4 loss to Boston on Friday.

The right-hander, who threw three scoreless innings of relief

against Baltimore on April 14, has gone 2-2 with a 5.57 ERA in his

last four starts versus the Orioles.