Texas Rangers (40-61) at New York Yankees (52-48)
Thursday, July 24 - 1:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
After outlasting the opposition in 14 innings on Tuesday, the New York Yankees weathered the storm put forth by Mother Nature the following night to defeat the Texas Rangers in five frames. The Yankees look to finish off the four-game series with a victory in conventional fashion when they host the Rangers on Thursday afternoon. Brett Gardner belted the go-ahead homer as New York improved to 5-1 since suffering a 3-1 setback at Baltimore in a rain-shortened five-inning contest on July 13.
While the Yankees are within shouting distance of the first-place Orioles in the American League East, the reeling Rangers fell for the 26th time in 31 contests to drop 21 games under .500. Texas has elected to look toward its future by sending closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for fellow right-handers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson. Soria recorded 17 saves but failed to secure another one on Tuesday as he was unable to hold a one-run lead in the 13th inning en route to a 2-1 setback.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, MLBN, FSN Southwest (Texas), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Colby Lewis (6-7, 6.37 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Brandon McCarthy (4-10, 4.63)
After getting blitzed for 13 runs on as many hits in 2 1/3 innings on July 10, Lewis dropped his second straight contest in a more respectable way. The 34-year-old allowed two runs on eight hits in five frames en route to a 4-1 setback to Toronto on Tuesday. Lewis has pitched well away from home, posting a 5-2 mark while sporting an ERA (4.30) that's more than two runs fewer than his season average.
McCarthy followed a no-decision in his first outing with New York with a stellar nine-strikeout performance versus Cincinnati on Tuesday. The 31-year-old, who allowed one run on six hits in the 7-1 victory, has won three straight decisions dating back to his last two starts with Arizona. McCarthy has struggled against Texas, falling to 2-5 in his career after getting blasted for six runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings in the last meeting.
1. Yankees C Francisco Cervelli has hit safely in four straight games and is batting .379 over his last nine.
2. Texas OF Alex Rios returned after a three-game absence due to a sprained ankle. He is 1-for-16 lifetime versus McCarthy.
3. New York's Brian McCann is expected to see more time at first base with Mark Teixeira (left lat strain) and Kelly Johnson (groin) sidelined.
PREDICTION: Yankees 6, Rangers 4