Yankees-Orioles Preview

The New York Yankees are accustomed to having season-high

winning streaks last longer than three games, but a run of that

length would be refreshing right now.

Robinson Cano and CC Sabathia seem likely to play a major role

if it happens.

Cano and Sabathia look to continue their dominance of the

Baltimore Orioles as the Yankees seek a two-game series sweep

Thursday night at Camden Yards.

New York (22-19) won a season-best three in a row from April

20-24 and matched it April 30-May 2. Last year, the club had 11

such streaks, and six went longer.

The Yankees have been denied a third consecutive victory on five

occasions this year, and they’re 5-10 since the most recent

streak.

New York, though, has won all five meetings with Baltimore

(19-22) this season and 13 of 16 at Camden, due in large part to

Cano.

The All-Star second baseman is hitting .514 with eight doubles,

six homers and 15 RBIs in those 16 games. He came through in the

clutch in a 4-1, 15-inning victory Wednesday, delivering two hits

and a go-ahead, two-run double in the 15th.

Cano is 5 for 11 against Orioles scheduled starter Brad

Bergesen.

Sabathia (3-3, 3.47 ERA) has also dominated Baltimore, winning

10 of his last 11 matchups with a 2.78 ERA. He has won all six

games at Camden during that stretch with a 2.36 ERA, and on Friday

can match the longest winning streak for an active pitcher at one

road site, tying Derek Lowe (at Pittsburgh) and Randy Wolf (at

Arizona).

The left-hander is looking to extend that run while ending his

recent funk. He’s dropped two of three starts with a 5.95 ERA,

walking 10 in 19 2-3 innings.

Sabathia’s latest effort may have been his worst of 2011, as he

surrendered a season-high six runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-0 loss

to Boston on Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez is another Yankee that has made things tough on

the Orioles, getting four hits Wednesday. He’s batting .515 with

four homers and 15 RBIs in his last nine games versus Baltimore,

and is 4 for 12 with a homer off Bergesen (1-4, 4.35).

The right-hander is getting an emergency start in place of

Jeremy Guthrie, who was used in the 15th inning Wednesday following

Michael Gonzalez’s ejection for beaning Chris Dickerson in the

head.

Dickerson was removed from the game and his status is

uncertain.

Guthrie has a seven-game losing streak to the Yankees, five of

those defeats coming when he opposed Sabathia.

Bergesen hasn’t been much better against New York, going 0-3

with a 6.65 ERA in five games – four starts. He gave up six runs in

six innings of a 15-3 home loss to the Yankees on April 23.

Bergesen, though, is coming off his best performance of the

season, tossing a four-hitter in a 6-0 win over Tampa Bay on

Saturday for his first shutout.

“He pitched relaxed,” catcher Jake Fox said. “He was throwing

the ball well. He was hitting spots. You could tell on his face he

was having fun.”

Vladimir Guerrero had two hits Wednesday and has a .433 average

with five doubles and three RBIs over the past seven games. The

designated hitter, though, is 3 for 20 with a homer off

Sabathia.

He’s batting .326 with four homers and 11 RBIs at home, compared

to .264 with five RBIs on the road.