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Preview: Orioles (65-71) at Yankees (76-59)
Venue: Yankee Stadium
Date: September 07, 2015 1:05 PM EDT
While Brian McCann has surprisingly emerged as the New York Yankees’ leader in RBIs, fellow catcher Matt Wieters is enduring another frustrating year for the Baltimore Orioles.
McCann homered twice over the weekend while Wieters missed two weekend games ahead of Monday’s three-game series opener at Yankee Stadium.
New York (76-59) captured two of three from Tampa Bay to begin its 10-game homestand. McCann homered in both of his starts, with his three-run shot in Sunday’s 6-4 victory giving him 86 RBIs – his most since a career-high 94 in 2009.
“He’s been such a run producer for us all year long,” manager Joe Girardi said. “And to get that kind of production out of a catcher doesn’t happen very often, just because of what they go through physically.”
The former catcher Girardi has done his part to keep McCann fresh by occasionally starting backup John Ryan Murphy, who is mired in a 5-for-26 slump.
Wieters has been limited to 87 games over the last two years after season-ending elbow surgery in 2014. He sat out the final two games of a weekend set in Toronto with a left wrist injury suffered in Friday’s 10-2 victory.
Manager Buck Showalter is hopeful Wieters can return Monday. The catcher is hitting .170 in his last 14 games.
“He’s better today, it felt better so that was good to hear the improvement and the X-ray was negative so we’re hoping,” Showalter said.
The Yankees remained 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Blue Jays after a weekend in which Alex Rodriguez also went deep twice. He entered the Rays series homerless in 10 straight, and is now two shy of his first 30-homer campaign since 2010.
Rodriguez is also two hits away from tying Rod Carew (3,053) for 23rd on the all-time list.
New York is 8-5 against Baltimore (65-71), including 6-1 at home. The Yankees will give the ball to Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.07 ERA), who makes his third start after spending a month on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.
Pineda was charged with five runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 6-2 loss to Houston in his first start back Aug. 26 before recovering Tuesday to limit Boston to one run in six innings to earn a 3-1 road win and end a personal three-game slide.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA in three starts versus Baltimore in 2015. Jimmy Paredes is 4 for 6 against him this year, Manny Machado is 4 for 8 and Adam Jones 4 for 9.
The last time he faced Baltimore at home, he struck out a career-high 16 on May 10.
The Orioles will start Wei-Yin Chen (8-7, 3.36), who allowed five runs in 4 2-3 innings in last Monday’s 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay after going 3-0 with a 2.90 ERA in his previous five outings.
Chen is 1-1 with a 2.79 ERA in three 2015 starts against New York. Chris Young is 4 for 7 with a homer in those games against the left-hander and Chase Headley 3 for 6.
Young is mired in a 4-for-40 slump, including 2 for 22 off left-handers. He bats .323 against southpaws compared to .182 against righties.
Orioles slugger Chris Davis leads the majors with 40 homers and has reached 100 RBIs for the second time. He’s 3 for 14 with two homers off Pineda.
Baltimore has dropped 14 of 17.