Posted June 28, 2013 on AP on Fox
T.J. McFarland's first big league start will come against the New York Yankees. But with New York's recent lack of offense, the task of facing the Bronx Bombers could prove to be less intimidating than it sounds. McFarland takes the mound for the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night as they host the Yankees. Fellow rookie Kevin Gausman was originally slated to start in the series opener. However, manager Buck Showalter announced a change of plans after Thursday's 7-3 win over Cleveland - not entirely surprising given Gausman's 0-3 record and 7.66 ERA through his five starts. McFarland (1-0, 4.14 ERA) has made 18 appearances for the Orioles (44-36), primarily in long relief. The left-hander threw two scoreless innings in a 3-0 loss at New York on April 14. Acquired from Cleveland in December's Rule 5 Draft, McFarland is expected to throw around 80 pitches, Showalter told the team's official website. Gausman will be available for relief duty. "Mac is throwing the ball well and deserves an opportunity while we have an opportunity to take a look at it," Showalter said of the 24-year-old. "We had a couple options, he was one of them and that's where we are going to go tomorrow." McFarland runs into a cold lineup for New York (42-36), which just completed a 4-5 homestand. The Yankees' 56 runs since June 7 are the fewest in baseball as they've gone 7-11. Their .210 average over that span is also the worst, while their 10 home runs are tied for last. New York was shut out for the seventh time this season - one more than all of 2012 - and the third time this month in a 2-0 loss to Texas on Thursday. Singles by Ichiro Suzuki and Austin Romine were the only hits off starter Derek Holland. Vernon Wells is 7 for 48 (.146) in 15 games since June 7, while Travis Hafner is 7 for 51 (.137) in 13 contests, though he's hit safely in five straight. Suzuki has been a recent bright spot, batting .364 over his last 14 contests with at least one hit in each of the last seven. "If you don't score runs, that becomes an issue," manager Joe Girardi told the team's official website. "I believe we're capable of scoring runs. I think we can. But time will tell." Baltimore had lost five of six prior to Thursday's victory. It was highlighted by a five-run fifth inning, which included Manny Machado's first career ejection after the third baseman argued that he foul-tipped the ball on a third strike. Chris Davis drove in the go-ahead run with a fielder's choice grounder later in the inning. Davis, who went 9 for 22 (.409) with two home runs as Baltimore split its first six meetings with New York, is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts against scheduled starter David Phelps (5-4, 4.01). Phelps threw four innings of scoreless relief while allowing only one hit in New York's 5-3 loss to Baltimore on April 13. He also recorded three scoreless relief appearances against the Orioles last year, but posted an 8.31 ERA without a decision in two starts. The right-hander is 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA over 10 starts this season. Matt Wieters is 3 for 7 against Phelps with two homers.
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