MLB Preview 2012: New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics

The New York Yankees (25-21) and Oakland Athletics (22-25) will close out a three-game American League series on Sunday afternoon in Oakland, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 ET

New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics 

New York Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira is coming off a monster game against the Oakland Athletics

New York has been waiting for first baseman Mark Teixeira to break out, and he did so in a big way on Saturday afternoon in a 9-2 win over Oakland. He homered twice and finished with four hits, which was pleasing to the eye of manager Joe Girardi.  “It’s what we’ve always known he’s capable of doing,” commented the Yankees skipper. “He swung the bat great today.”  The Yankees have won 12 of their last 13 games in Oakland, not losing on the road in the series since April 2010.  New York is 7-7 in day games, and the “under” is 8-6 in that situation.

Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (3-6, 4.56 ERA) has received just one run of support in dropping his last two starts, as he comes off a 6-0 home loss to the Kansas City Royals. He allowed three runs and seven hits over 5.1 frames in that effort.  The right-hander is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA in four road outings this year, with opposing hitters batting .297 against him.  Kuroda ended up on the losing end of a 5-4 home decision in his only career start against the Athletics on June 17, 2009, as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oakland has lost four consecutive games, with the offense scoring just six runs over that span.  Outfielder Josh Reddick has been the only consistent threat in the lineup the past couple weeks, hitting his team-leading 13th home run on Saturday, but nine of those have been solo shots.  “Everyone would like to have guys on base,” stated Reddick about the situation.  The club is 11-12 this month, which isn’t likely to improve much over the next couple days, as it has produced a winning record in May just two times in the previous seven seasons.  Oakland is 6-8 in day games.

Athletics starting pitcher Tommy Milone (6-3, 3.75 ERA) has led the club to three wins over his last four starts, including a 2-1 home victory over the Los Angeles Angels last time out. The left-hander has been brilliant at home this season, entering with a 4-0 record and 0.60 ERA, as opposing hitters are batting just .158 against him.  The 25-year-old will be making his first career start against the Yankees this afternoon.

Bettors will likely back the Athletics due to their 12-3 record in Game 3 of a series, while the Yankees are 0-4 in Kuroda’s last four road starts.

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