The New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds continue their interleague series Tuesday night at the Great American Ball Park
New York Yankees at Cincinnati Reds
New York has now won nine of 11 games after picking up a 5-3 victory to open its interleague series in Cincinnati Monday night. The Yankees scored four runs in the first inning to make things easier on themselves from the outset. “An ideal first innings,” said Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. “We’ll take that every time.” Scoring early has been on a common theme for the club, outscoring foes 58-31 in the first frame. New York had little trouble holding onto the lead and closed the door with reliever Mariano Rivera converting his 21st straight save against National League opponents. It will be interesting to see if the squad can continue its winning ways, considering its posted a 1-6 mark this season after three or more consecutive wins.
Yankees starting pitcher Brian Gordon will make his second career start tonight after surrendering two runs in 5 1/3 innings of New York’s 3-2, 12-inning victory Thursday against the Rangers. He is also excited to get his first crack at swinging the bat in interleague play. “It’ll be pretty neat, just to be able to get my first big league at-bat,” Gordon commented. “It’s going to be special, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Cincinnati may lead the NL in runs scored this season, but has managed to plate just seven runners in four games. “We’re having a hard time getting batters on base, in any inning,” Reds manager Dusty Baker stated. “We’ve got to come up with a way to get one or two guys on right away.” The Reds starters have done little to help the club early on in outings, giving up 59 first-inning runs, which is by far the most for the club over any other frame this season. Despite the loss, the team is still 4-3 all-time versus the Yankees, including a 2-2 mark at home. Cincinnati is 1-6 during interleague play this year and 8-8 versus left-handed starters.
Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was scratched for his regularly scheduled start last night due to neck soreness, but will likely return to the mound tonight. “There’s a little pain when I throw,” Cueto commented. “I’ll probably, maybe pitch Tuesday.” The right-hander will be making his ninth appearance of the season and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his starts. In his eight outings, Cincinnati has gone 5-3 and scored 33 runs offensively. Cueto will be making his eight interleague start of his career, posting a 4-3 record and 1.93 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 5.70 ERA in four home outings. He was handed a 4-1 road defeat in his only lifetime start against the Yankees back on June 22, 2008, allowing one run and four hits over five frames.
Bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 4-1 mark in Cueto’s last five interleague starts, while the Yankees are 2-5 in their last seven interleague games as an underdog