NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — There might not be anyone more excited about playing in Baltimore than New York second baseman Robinson Cano.
Cano looks to continue his torrid hitting at Camden Yards and help the headline-grabbing Yankees remain perfect on the season against the Orioles in Wednesday night’s series opener.
Cano got off to a hot start to the year, batting .319 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in his first 23 games, but has since cooled off, hitting .228 with a homer and four RBIs in 16 games.
A brief two-game series in Baltimore could help him regain his stroke.
Cano has hit safely in his last 15 games at Camden Yards, batting .531, and is hitting .510 with nine homers, 11 doubles, 19 RBIs and 26 runs in his last 23 games there.
The All-Star second baseman was 4 for 10 with an RBI as New York (21-19) swept a rain-shortened two-game series in Baltimore in April. The Yankees have won the first four meetings of the season with the Orioles (19-21), and are 17-5 against them since last year.
Curtis Granderson, who leads New York with 14 homers, has also enjoyed facing the Orioles, batting .315 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games against them since 2008.
The Yankees arrive in Baltimore after defeating Tampa Bay 6-2 on Tuesday, snapping a six-game losing streak.
“We needed a win,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t want to say must-win, but as close as you can get to a must-win in the month of May.”
Jorge Posada doubled and singled while batting seventh as the designated hitter in his first start since pulling himself out of the lineup Saturday soon after he was set to bat ninth.
“It feels good to be back in the lineup and be able to contribute,” Posada said.
Alex Rodriguez also finally produced offensively, homering twice. The three-time AL MVP was hitting .171 with a home run and six RBIs in his previous 21 games.
“My struggles have been really unacceptable, but hopefully today was the start of good things to come,” Rodriguez said.
It seems Rodriguez could be poised for another big game considering he is batting .538 with two homers, three doubles and 11 RBIs against the Orioles this season.
Baltimore’s game in Boston on Tuesday was postponed because of rain.
The rainout gave the Orioles, winners of five of seven, another 24 hours to re-evaluate Derrek Lee’s status.
Lee, who suffered a strained left oblique Monday, would have been placed on the disabled list had Tuesday’s game taken place.
“We’ve got another day to look at it to see if there’s any drastic improvement,” Buck Showalter said.
Rookie Zach Britton (5-2, 2.42 ERA) was originally scheduled to start Tuesday but will now make his first career appearance against the Yankees.
The left-hander is coming off his best outing, limiting Seattle to three hits without a walk in nine scoreless innings Thursday. The Orioles, however, failed to score for him for a second straight start. Baltimore eventually won 2-1 in 12 innings.
Britton has yielded one run or fewer in five of eight starts, and the Orioles are 6-2 with him on the mound, compared to 13-19 in starts by other pitchers.
New York counters with Bartolo Colon (2-2, 3.74), who allowed three runs, five hits and three walks in six innings in Friday’s 5-4 loss to Boston.
The right-hander, who threw three scoreless innings of relief against Baltimore on April 14, is 2-2 with a 5.57 ERA in his last four starts versus the Orioles.
What’s your prediction for Yankees-Orioles? Let us know in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)