NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Yankees’ bats went silent in their last series. Getting Alex Rodriguez back on track would certainly help.
Rodriguez will try to break out of his slump and help the Yankees avoid a fourth straight loss Friday night in the opener of a three-game series in Arlington against the Texas Rangers.
New York (17-12) is looking to get its offense going after scoring five total runs during three consecutive losses at Detroit. Rodriguez and Derek Jeter both didn’t start Thursday’s 6-3 defeat.
Jeter sat out after leaving the previous game with a right hip problem, but the team hopes to have him back Friday. Jeter’s next game at shortstop will be his 2,032nd with the Yankees, matching Cal Ripken’s mark for games at shortstop with one team.
“There is no injury. I have had zero treatment,” Jeter said. “I am not happy but I am not upset about it. I am not going to fight somebody.”
While the Yankees wanted to also give Rodriguez the day off, he entered as a pinch-runner in the fourth when Eric Chavez fractured a bone in his left foot.
Rodriguez is hitting .176 the last 14 games and hasn’t homered since April 23.
A visit to Arlington might help the slumping slugger. The former Ranger is batting .330 with 97 home runs in 301 games at Rangers Ballpark, although he was 3 for 14 with three strikeouts in three playoff games there last year.
“Texas, I have a little history there with that ballpark, but I don’t worry about it too much,” Rodriguez told the Yankees’ official website. “If you can hit, you can hit.”
New York won two of three at home against Texas (17-15) from April 15-17 after losing to the Rangers in the AL championship series last October.
Texas has it own offensive issues.
The team returns home following a 2-5 road trip that was capped by a 3-1 loss at Seattle on Thursday. Overall, the Rangers have lost eight of 11 and scored three or fewer runs in five of the last eight games.
“We are hitting a lot of balls hard, right at guys on occasion,” Ian Kinsler said. “It seems like we can’t build an inning right now. It’s frustrating. We want to get going.”
Michael Young, who has a seven-game hitting streak, will try to get things turned around against the Yankees. He was 6 for 12 with three doubles and four RBIs in the series last month, and is hitting .347 in the last 17 meetings, including playoffs.
Young is 2 for 3 with a double against Ivan Nova (2-2, 5.14 ERA), who is looking to make a third straight strong start Friday.
Nova allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 win over Toronto on Sunday, snapping a three-start winless streak. In his previous outing, he yielded one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Chicago.
However, the right-hander struggled against Texas on April 15, giving up five runs and five walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-3 defeat.
Matt Harrison (3-3, 4.59) was very impressive in that game for the Rangers, allowing one earned run over eight innings.
Harrison is trying to avoid a fourth straight loss, however. He’s lasted a combined 4 2-3 innings in his last two starts and was tagged for four runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings of a 7-2 loss at Oakland on Sunday.
The left-hander has an 11.12 ERA during his losing streak after going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in the first three starts.
“Giving up base hits, I have no problem with that,” manager Ron Washington said. “He just didn’t have his command. He certainly has got to do better and he knows that.”
Rodriguez is 4 for 9 with two doubles against Harrison.
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