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Sabathia will aim to end his winless drought versus an Orioles club he has won six consecutive starts against, while the poor-luck-laden Millwood tries again for his first victory of the season as Baltimore aims to avoid yet another three-game sweep at the hands of New York at Yankee Stadium.
The left-handed Sabathia saw his winless drought reach five starts (0-2) on Saturday in a no-decision versus Cleveland. Sabathia wasn't on the top of his game, allowing five runs over six innings, but he didn't allow a homer for the first time in eight starts and left the game with a 10-5 lead. However, New York's bullpen allowed seven runs in the seventh inning on the way to a 13-11 setback.
While Sabathia probably earned a better fate, he was upset with himself afterwards for allowing his former club to stay in the game.
"Every time we scored a couple runs, I would give up a run or two to keep Cleveland in the game," he told New York's website. "We scored 11 runs. I should have been able to shut them down and keep the game under control."
The 29-year-old is pitching to a 6.38 earned run average over his last four starts and is 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA this season. However, Sabathia is 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA in four starts at home, with one of those a May 3 victory over the Orioles in which he threw eight innings of one-run ball.
That victory was Sabathia's sixth in a row over the Orioles since his lone career loss to them on April 6, 2009. He has beaten them twice this year and holds an 11-1 mark in 16 lifetime starts against Baltimore with a pair of shutouts and 2.52 ERA.
Millwood probably wouldn't mind trading places with Sabathia. The Orioles' hurler is winless over his first 11 starts in 2010 despite a 3.89 ERA. He has lost his first five decisions to start a season for the first time in his career and his ERA is the lowest for a starter to open a season with 11 winless starts since Oakland's Rick Langford did so with a 2.62 ERA in 1978.
The 35-year-old Millwood did struggle a bit in his last start, a loss to the Blue Jays on Friday in which he gave up a season-high-tying five runs -- four earned -- over six innings of a 5-0 loss.
"It's frustrating that I didn't make pitches when I needed to," said Millwood, who is 0-4 with a 4.46 ERA in six road starts this season.
The right-hander pitched well versus the Yankees on April 27, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings, but he did not factor into the decision on that day and is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in his career versus New York.
As if facing the Yankees wasn't tough enough, Millwood must find a way to contain Robinson Cano, who is in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak that includes a string of eight consecutive multi-hit games. Cano is batting .471 (32-for-68) over his run with three homers and 19 RBI and now leads the American League with a .373 average.
Cano, who is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in his career versus Millwood with a homer and three RBI, went 3-for-4 in Wednesday's 9-1 victory over Baltimore and hit his team-leading 12th homer in the Yankees' seventh consecutive victory over the Orioles.