Monday, August 12, 2013

These days, it's going to take a lot to overshadow anything Alex Rodriguez does on the field. In the 9th inning yesterday, Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner found a way to do that.

Rivera gave up a pair of homeruns in the 9th to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to tie the game, marking the third consecutive blown save by Rivera, just the first time in this legendary career that he's blown a save in three straight chances.

Then in the bottom half of the 9th, Gardner ended the game with one swing of the bat, taking Jose Veras deep to right field, sending the Yanks home with a 5-4 win, and their first series win since July 5th-7th against the Baltimore Orioles.

Now the struggling Los Angeles Angels come to town, having lost five of their last seven games, and were swept by the Texas Rangers last week on walk-off homeruns in all three games of the series.

The Yankees and Angels have already met once this year, back in Anaheim, when Los Angeles took two of the three games against a Yankees team that had been struggling badly at the time.

Tonight's Lineup, 7:05 EST @ Yankee Stadium:

Gardner CF
Suzuki DH
Cano 2B
Rodriguez 3B
Overbay 1B
Soriano LF
Granderson RF
Nunez SS
Stewart C
Kuroda RHP

Pitching Preview:

The Yankees bullpen was forced to put in a heavy workload over the weekend, with Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes lasting only 4 1/3 in each of their starts on Saturday and Sunday. The bullpen will get a chance to have an easy night with workhorse ace Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound.

Kuroda has been dominant on the mound over the past five weeks, going 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA and with 28 strikeouts in six starts over that span.

"He has pitched extremely well and he should have a lot more than 10 wins," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Kuroda's last start.

Kuroda didn't have his best stuff in his last outing, tossing seven innings of three-run ball against the Chicago White Sox, but was tagged with the loss after the Yankees failed to provide him with any run support, as usual in most of his starts.

"I wasn't really sharp out there, but I think I was able to get the big outs," Kuroda said.

Garrett Richards gets the ball for the Los Angeles Angels, making just his fourth starts for LA since taking over for Joe Blanton in the Angels in the rotation. In those three starts, Richards has an ERA of 2.50.

Richards came away with the no-decision in his last start after tossing giving up three runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out five in six innings of work, despite not having his best stuff.

Yankee Notes:

* Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Derek Jeter, who's currently on the DL with a Grade 1 calf strain, is scheduled to go through "tee and toss" drills today. "Then tomorrow I'm going to do some dry swings," he said. "In the pool."

When the Yankees leave for Boston on Friday, Jeter is expected to head south and continue his rehab at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Florida. Girardi was asked if Jeter would return to the lineup when he becomes eligible August 17th, and he said, "I'm not sure."

* Travis Hafner was eligible to return to the Yankees today after being on the DL since July 27th, but he's not ready yet, says Girardi. "He feels better and he's continuing his rehab," Girardi said. "But he's not ready to do baseball activities yet." Hafner might not return until September 1st, when rosters expand to 40-men.

Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.


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