Friday, July 4, 2014

For the second year in a row, the Yankees are in Minnesota with an Fourth of July matchup with the Twins.

They're hoping to keep the momentum going this afternoon at 3 pm ET after taking the opening of this four-game series last night with a 7-4 win over their former teammate, Phil Hughes. Zelous Wheeler made his major league debut last night, batting 8th in the lineup and playing third base. He hit s solo homerun in his second big league at-bat and singled later in the game to finish 2-for-4.

Wheeler, however, is not in the lineup this afternoon for some reason, and neither is Brian McCann, who singled last night, and Derek Jeter, who I presume is just getting a day off.

Mark Teixeira was back in the Yankees' lineup last night, a day after getting his knee drained. Teixeira showed no lingering signs of the draining, going 2-for-4.

Today's lineup against Minnesota:

LF Brett Gardner
2B Brian Roberts
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Carlos Beltran
RF Ichiro Suzuki
C Francisco Cervelli
3B Kelly Johnson
SS Brendan Ryan

*  CC Sabathia is on his way to see Dr. James Andrews about his knee. There is still a good chance that surgery will be needed, and the future of his return to a big league mound is more unclear than ever right now.

Pitching matchup preview:

Right-hander Chase Whitley will get the ball for the Yankees today, following up fellow rookie Masahiro Tanaka, who picked up his 12th win of the season last night. Whitley looked good in his first handful of big league starts, but has been roughed up lately, having allowed 13 runs on 19 hits in 7 1/3 innings over his last two starts.

His last start was against the Boston Red Sox, in which he gave up five runs on eight hits, including a three-run homerun to David Ortiz.

"He just made some mistakes that looked like they were in the middle of the plate," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters after that loss. "He was able to escape the first two innings and minimize the damage with some double-play balls, but then he gave up the big three-run homer."

On the mound for the Twins is right-hander Kyle Gibson, who will be facing the Bombers for the third time in the last two seasons.

Gibson allowed 11 runs (10 earned) over 10 1/3 innings in the first two outings against the Yankees, but has pitching better of late, with a 2.61 ERA and an 0.94 WHIP in his last five starts.


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