Baltimore Orioles (93-62) at New York Yankees (80-75)
Monday, September 22 - 7:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Derek Jeter begins the final home series of his illustrious career as the New York Yankees look to keep alive their slim wild-card hopes in the first of four games against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday. Jeter is 8-for-17 with three RBIs on the current eight-game homestand to help the Yankees remain relevant. After taking three of four from Toronto over the weekend, New York sits 4 1/2 games behind Kansas City in the race for the American League's second wild card with seven games to play.
Jeter's RBI double and Brian McCann's two home runs lifted New York to a 5-2 win over Toronto on Sunday. It also gave the Yankees 80 wins, which leaves them two shy of securing a winning season for the 22nd straight time. Having already clinched the AL East, Baltimore finished its home schedule with a 3-2 loss to Boston on Sunday, remaining 2 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels in the race for the best record in the AL.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles LH Wei-Yin Chen (16-4, 3.58 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Michael Pineda (3-5, 2.15)
Chen has won four straight decisions and enters tied for fourth in the American League in wins. He continued his winning streak by allowing two runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings against Toronto last Monday, improving to 8-1 at home since a season-opening loss at Camden Yards. Chen gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings in his only meeting with the Yankees this year and owns a 5.76 ERA in eight career encounters.
Pineda is 1-3 in seven starts since coming off the disabled list despite posting a 2.30 ERA. He finished at least six innings in five straight outings before lasting 5 1/3 in a loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, giving up one earned run and four hits along the way. Pineda's return from a shoulder injury came at Baltimore on Aug. 13, when he let up a run and a season-low two hits in five solid frames.
1. Jeter has played 287 career games against Baltimore, more than any other opponent.
2. Yankees CF Jacoby Ellsbury (hamstring) has missed two straight games but said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season.
3. Orioles OF-DH Nelson Cruz has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, batting .365 (23-for-63) with 13 RBIs in that span.
PREDICTION: Yankees 4, Orioles 3