Current Conditions - Arlington
M/CLEAR 86 °F
Wind: SE 14
New York Yankees (55-51) at Texas Rangers (42-65)
Wednesday, July 30 - 8:05 PM EST
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Brett Gardner appeared to be the odd man out when the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a huge free-agent deal in the offseason, but he is emerging into his team's most indispensable player. Gardner is 7-for-10 with three homers in his last two games and will look to lead New York to victory in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game set with the host Texas Rangers. Mark Teixeira celebrated his return to the starting lineup Tuesday with his 18th homer.
J.P Arencibia was batting a paltry .133 when Texas demoted him to the minors in mid-May but he has provided steady run production since his recall at the All-Star break. Arencibia broke out in a big way in Tuesday's 12-11 loss, belting a pair of homers - including a grand slam - among his four extra-base hits and driving in a career-high seven runs. While his average is still below the Mendoza line at .183, Arencibia has a team-leading 16 RBIs in 12 games since his return to the Rangers.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, YES (New York), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (7-6, 3.99 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Colby Lewis (6-8, 6.23)
Kuroda was not especially sharp last time out but managed to pick up the win against Toronto despite giving up four runs and a pair of homers in 5 2/3 innings. He pitched superbly in his previous two turns, allowing a total of two earned runs and six hits over 13 2/3 innings, but had only a pair of no-decisions to show for it. Kuroda is a deceptive 2-2 in five career starts versus Texas with a 2.08 ERA and .208 batting average against.
Lewis dropped to 0-3 lifetime in four career starts against the Yankees, giving up three runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings Thursday in New York. It was the third consecutive losing start overall for Lewis, who has registered a 1-5 record and nightmarish 8.40 ERA in nine home starts this season. Ichiro Suzuki has a long track record against Lewis, batting .358 in 53 at-bats, while captain Derek Jeter is 3-for-5 with a pair of homers.
1. New York has hit at least two homers in five straight games, its longest streak since a five-game stretch in June 2012.
2. Arencibia has four homers and nine RBIs in six games versus the Yankees this season - all coming since July 22.
3. Gardner is 11-for-21 with four homers and four RBIs in six games against Texas this month.
PREDICTION: Yankees 5, Rangers 3