Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 8/19/13
The Yankees and Ivan Nova (6-4, 2.99 ERA) kick off a double header against the Blue Jays and Esmil Rogers (3-7, 4.91 ERA). Nova posted his ninth quality start in 12 stars on Wednesday, throwing 7 1/3 innings of three run ball in a win over the Angels. Two of his three non quality starts this season were against Toronto, both of which were in April. Rogers gave up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings Wednesday against Boston, but he didn’t factor into the decision. Rogers has gone 2-5 with a 5.16 ERA in 14 starts, compared to a 4.23 ERA working in relief. The Yankees need to make up ground in the playoff race, and the schedule is presenting them with an opportunity to do just that. They have owned the Blue Jays this season, going 8-1 against them, including 6-0 at home. The teams play each other seven times over a nine day span. The Yankees, who have won six of their past eight games, will host a four game set before heading north of the border for three more games next week. Going back to last season, the Yanks have won 9 straight against the Jays at home. Alex Rodriguez went 3-4 with a home run Sunday, and has reached base safely in 11 of his 12 games. “We’ve seen him drive the ball,” Joe Girardi said this weekend. “We’ve seen him hit hard line drives. The bat speed is definitely there.” Rodriguez also has started 10 of 12 games at third base, including five straight, and Girardi said he was pleased with Rodriguez’s ability to play the field. Phil Hughes (4-12, 4.97 ERA) gets the ball in game two against Mark Buehrie (9-7, 4.29 ERA). Hughes has not won since July 2 and is 2-10 with a 5.23 ERA over his past 16 starts. He has a 6.03 ERA at Yankee Stadium, although he posted a quality start there Thursday, holding the Angels to three runs on six hits over six innings. “It was obviously better; it was hard to pitch much worse than I had been,” Hughes said. “It felt like the results weren’t exactly what I wanted, but I felt like I threw the ball OK. But at the end of the day, it’s a loss, which is not what we set out to accomplish today.” Buehrle has seemingly turned a corner after starting out with a 7.02 ERA through May 6. The veteran gave up 10 hits but only one run over seven innings his last time out. He gave up five runs in each of his starts at Yankee Stadium this season.   First pitch at 1:05 PM on Yes. Second first pitch at 7:05 PM on MY9
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