Jun 18, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner reacts after scoring a run on a single hit by teammate Alfonso Soriano (not pictured) in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Orioles @ Yankees

The Yankees are playing great baseball right now. After taking four of six on the west coast, they came home to sweep the Blue Jays and pull to within just 1.5 games of the division lead. Now they welcome the Baltimore Orioles to the Bronx, in the hopes to distance themselves from Baltimore and try to make the A.L. East a two-horse race.

 

                                         Probable Pitching Match-ups

       Orioles                                              @                                           Yankees

Ubaldo Jimenez           Friday, June 20th:  7:05 pm EST            Hiroki Kuroda

    Bud Norris             Saturday, June 21st: 1:05 pm EST              Vidal Nuno

  Chris Tillman           Sunday, June 22nd: 2:05 pm EST          Masahiro Tanaka

 

Who’s Hot?: Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy have been the hottest hitters for the birds. Hardy, although not showing too much power, has hit nearly .350 over the past week. Pierce is a step above Hardy over the same stretch hitting around .375 with a homer and a few RBI.

Talk about hot hitters, how about Brett Gardner and Kelly Johnson hitting the cover off the ball? Johnson has finally started to come around, hitting around .400 with a couple of RBI in the last half dozen games. He was removed from last night’s game after injury his fingers on an attempted bunt. X-rays came back negative, so keep on eye on his status this weekend. Gardner has also been on fire, hitting about the same as Johnson, except with two home runs and five RBI to his credit.

Who’s Not?: Chris Davis has not been himself this year. He has been in slump after slump and finds himself in another. In the same span, Davis’ average is just a tad over .100. Although he does have a couple of home runs and five RBI, his season average sits around a disappointing .220.                                     

                                                       *What To Watch For*

Hiroki Kuroda has been far from consistent this year, but he will hope to turn that around in his start tonight against Baltimore. The Trio of Davis, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis have owned Kuroda going 20-for-64 (.312) with three homers and six RBI. Everyone else on the other hand (9 other players) went 14-for-85 for a nice .165 average. As long as Kuroda can hold the Big Three down, he should be okay.

Vidal Nuno gets the nod for Saturday’s afternoon game. He has had thirteen match-ups among seven Orioles’ players. In those at-bats, there have been seven hits which translates to a .538 average in the small sample size. Masahiro Tanaka starts the final game of the weekend series. It will be his second time around with the O’s. In his first start on April 9th, he went seven innings giving up three runs on seven hits. He obviously would love to do much better his second going.

 

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Tuesday, Sep 2323 Sep7:05Baltimore OriolesBuy Tickets

Tags: Brett Gardner New York Yankees Series Preview

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