Game 7: Yankees at Orioles

Michael PinedaHello from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the Yankees open a three-game series against the Orioles tonight. This kicks off a stretch that sees the Yankees play 15 of their next 25 games away from the Bronx, and they’ll look to keep the good vibes rolling from last night’s 14-4 pounding of the Red Sox by handing the ball to right-hander Michael Pineda.

“You watch him, he competes,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s able to get the big strikeout when he needs it. He keeps his pitch count down, he attacks the zone with three pitches, holds the runners. He does a good job.”

The O’s counter with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Yanks got to town at about 3 a.m. ET this morning following the Sunday night ESPN game, so those hotel blackout shades surely came in handy.

Here’s what you need to know from the Yankees’ clubhouse:

  • A-Rod is playing third base for the first time this season as Joe Girardi wants to give Chase Headley a day off. Headley “could use it” after Friday’s 19-inning game and then coming right back to play another two games, Girardi said. Basically, the Yankees just want A-Rod to catch the balls he can get to, but they understand that they’re losing some range in that swap.
  • The crowd reaction was largely positive for A-Rod in New York, but that’s expected to change as the Yankees visit Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Detroit on this trip. It’s expected to be similar to what Rodriguez has heard in past years; he mentioned yesterday that nothing could be more vicious than what he heard after signing the massive $252 million deal with the Rangers.
  • The Yankees lead the Majors with nine errors through six games. Girardi called it “definitely puzzling,” considering this is a team for whom run prevention was supposed to be a strength.
  • Girardi’s reaction to Barry Bonds’ comments, in which he said A-Rod’s 660th homer should be celebrated: “I hope it happens this month. I think we all hope that. I hope he hits, what does he needs, five? I hope he hits six this month. It’d be great.”
  • Another day, another long reliever. Today it’s right-hander Joel De La Cruz, who has been summoned from Double-A Trenton. He replaces right-hander Kyle Davies, who replaced left-hander Matt Tracy, who replaced left-hander Chasen Shreve. That all happened in the last four days.
  • Esmil Rogers could be available tomorrow, but more likely Wednesday.
  • Jose Pirela (concussion) will begin playing in Extended Spring Training games next week. Brendan Ryan (calf strain) could travel with the team to Tampa on Thursday and stay there.

Here are the lineups:

Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Brett Gardner lf
Carlos Beltran dh
Mark Teixeira 1b
Alex Rodriguez 3b
Chris Young rf
John Ryan Murphy c
Didi Gregorius ss
Gregorio Petit 2b

Michael Pineda rhp (0-0, 3.00)

Alejandro De Aza lf
Steve Pearce rf
Chris Davis 1b
Adam Jones cf
Travis Snider dh
Manny Machado 3b
Jonathan Schoop 2b
Everth Cabrera ss
Caleb Joseph c

Wei-Yin Chen lhp (0-0, 6.23)

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