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Yankees Begin Series With Orioles Tonight

(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees hope to have Alex Rodriguez in the lineup when they begin a three-game set against the woeful Baltimore Orioles this evening at Camden Yards.

Rodriguez was forced to leave Sunday's win over Toronto with tightness in his groin, but said after the contest that he expected to be ready to go tonight.

"It's fine now," Rodriguez said. "I'll be ready to go on Tuesday."

The Yankees, though, may not need the three-time American League Most Valuable Player, as they have beaten the Orioles eight straight times and are 21-4 over the last 25 games in the series.

New York managed to salvage the finale of its series with the Blue Jays on Sunday, as Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning to help the Yankees rally for a 4-3 win.

Brandon Morrow had held the Yankees scoreless through seven innings, but New York scored all its runs in the eighth to take the come-from-behind win. Brett Gardner scored on a wild pitch, while Derek Jeter added an RBI double in the comeback.

Javier Vazquez (5-5) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Vernon Wells hit a two-out, two-run homer to put Toronto in front. Vazquez still took the win, as he allowed just that hit in seven innings and struck out nine.Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.

"It always feels better when you have a day off and you won the previous day," Jeter said. "So we wanted to come out here and play well. We pitched well...but they pitched well, too. We're fortunate to get this one."

Tonight Phil Hughes toes the rubber for New York as he tries to win his eighth game of season. Hughes defeated the Orioles last Wednesday, holding them to a run and six hits in seven innings to run his record to 7-1 while lowering his earned run average to 2.54.

"When we have the offense we have and I know what I'm capable of doing, I think there's no reason why we shouldn't win games," said Hughes, who will be making a second consecutive start against the same opponent for the first time in his career. .

Hughes is 3-2 with a 5.12 ERA in 10 career games (seven starts) against the O's. He has given up just two runs in 12 2/3 innings while going 1-0 against them this season.

Baltimore, meanwhile, will counter with veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, who lost to the Yankees on Thursday to fall to 0-6 on the season to go along with a 4.29 ERA. Millwood was hammered in that start for six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

He is 2-5 lifetime versus the Yanks with a 5.15 ERA in 11 starts.

The Juan Samuel era in Baltimore resembled the Dave Trembley tenure over the weekend, as the Orioles dropped the first two games of their set with the Boston Red Sox before winning Sunday's finale to snap a 10-game losing streak.

Nick Markakis' run-scoring single in the 11th inning was the difference on Sunday, as Baltimore pulled out a 4-3 win after blowing a one-run ninth-inning lead.

"We've had some battles," Markakis said. "We're in games, lost them. But we didn't let this one get away."

David Hernandez (2-5) got the victory for throwing two scoreless relief innings. The Orioles' bullpen had thrown more than 17 innings over the last four games and needed to turn in more in relief of Brian Matusz, who threw 117 pitches in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday. The left-hander limited Boston to two runs on four hits while walking four and struck out seven.

The Yanks took two of three from the O's at Camden Yards from April 27-29.

(Also see Jeff Freier's piece on the development of Hughes and the Mets' Mike Pelfrey.)