Good evening from Yankee Stadium as the Yankees open up a three-game weekend series with the Seattle Mariners, with A.J. Burnett locking up against Felix Hernandez in the opener. It’s a gorgeous day in New York, with clear skies and temperatures in the 80s – a perfect night to be sitting out in the stands and scarf down a hot dog and a cold one.
Downstairs in the clubhouse, the biggest news – as you’ll see in the lineup below – is that Alex Rodriguez is back in action after three games on the sidelines with a strained left calf. A-Rod has been hitting regularly but today was the first day he got back to running, and he came through batting practice just fine, good enough for Joe Girardi to put him in the lineup.
UPDATE: That lasted one at-bat. A-Rod’s out after his second-inning groundout, which he jogged very slowly down to first base on. Austin Kearns is the new DH.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Ichiro Suzuki RF, Chone Figgins 2B, Russell Branyan DH, Jose Lopez 3B, Franklin Gutierrez CF, Casey Kotchman 1B, Adam Moore C, Matt Tuiasosopo LF, Josh Wilson SS
Felix Hernandez RHP (8-10, 2.62)
Brett Gardner LF, Derek Jeter SS, Mark Teixeira 1B, Alex Rodriguez DH, Robinson Cano 2B, Nick Swisher RF, Curtis Granderson CF, Francisco Cervelli C, Ramiro Pena 3B
A.J. Burnett RHP (9-10, 4.66)
Here are tonight’s Game Information highlights from the Yankees…
AT A GLANCE: The Yankees will begin a three-game series vs. Seattle tonight…are 3-1 to begin this seven-game homestand after winning a four-game series vs. Detroit from Monday-Thursday…is also Day Five of 2010 HOPE Week (see pg. 3)…are in a stretch of playing 17 of 23 games at Yankee Stadium (3-1 so far)…following this series, ste out on a six-game road trip to Toronto (3G0 and Chicago-AL (3G) before returning home for their longest homestand of the season (10 games in 10 days)…are in a stretch of playing games on 20 straight days from 8/6-25 (8-6 thus far)…are also currently in a stretch of 36G in 37 days from 7/20-8/25 (17-13 thus far)…are 25-9-5 in series in 2010, tied with Cincinnati for the most series wins in the Majors this season…are 19-14 since the All-Star break, and have won 27 of their last 42 games.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Yankees have scored at least 2R in the first inning in six of their last 11 games at Yankee Stadium, including home runs in five of the contests (13 total first-inning runs over the stretch).
BULLISH PEN: Yankees relievers have combined for a 1.58 ERA (62.2IP, 11ER) since 7/26 with 59K and a .185 (41-for-222) batting average…have combined to allow just 6ER over the Yankees’ last 14 games (42.0IP) – a 1.29 ERA.
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