Manager: Joe Girardi, seventh year
Last 10 games: 3-3
Who to watch: 3B Yangervis Solarte (.471/.526/.706, 4 doubles, 5 RBIs); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.333/.417/.429, 2 doubles, 3 SB); RHP Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 2.57 ERA, 8 Ks, O BB); RHP Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
Season series vs. O’s (2013): 10-9, 72 runs scored, 77 runs allowed
After dropping their first series of the season at the Astros, the Yankees responded over the weekend by taking two of three from the Blue Jays on the road.
Now they return home for the first time in 2014 to take on the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
With Robinson Cano gone, New York is still looking to find its offensive stride in the early going. Outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner have started well at the dish, while rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte has provided a surprising spark. But several newcomers have yet to contribute - catcher Brian McCann, outfielder Carlos Beltran, and infielders Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson. The Yankees have scored just 20 runs and didn’t hit their first homer of the season until Gardner cleared the fence Sunday.
Over the next three days, New York sends three of its top performers from its first turn through the rotation to the mound. Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and Masahiro Tanaka combined for a 2.89 ERA through three starts, holding opponents to six earned runs in 18 2/3 innings.
Tanaka will match up against the O’s Miguel Gonzalez in Wednesday’s series finale looking to follow up an impressive debut. In his first major league start, the Japanese import allowed two earned runs while striking out eight and walking none in seven innings. This time, he’ll be charged with replicating that against a deep Orioles lineup.