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Yankees Host Orioles In Matinee

(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees have to be wondering which A.J. Burnett will show up this afternoon when they open a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

After an awful August that saw him go 0-4 with a 7.80 earned run average, Burnett opened his September slate with a win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, as he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. It was his first victory since beating Cleveland on July 28 and upped his record on the year to 10-12, while lowering his ERA to 5.15.

"It is a good win for me, but my numbers are not important. I'm trying to get some good momentum in this last month," said Burnett.

Burnett has pitched well against the O's this season, going 2-1 in three starts with a 1.64 ERA. For his career, he is 11-3 against them with a 4.47 ERA in 16 starts.

The Yankees had Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup on Sunday, but were denied a sweep in the finale of their three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, falling 7-3.

The loss halted the Yankees' season-high eight-game winning streak, but they maintained their 2 1/2 game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East after the Rays were beaten by Baltimore on Sunday.

Phil Hughes (16-7) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in six innings in the loss for the Yankees

The Orioles, meanwhile, helped out the Yankees on Sunday, as Corey Patterson homered and drove in three runs and Nick Markakis went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs batted in to lead Baltimore to an 8-7 win over Tampa Bay. Brian Roberts went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI for the Orioles, who took the last two games and have won six of their last nine.

Alfredo Simon (4-2) got the win in relief with a scoreless inning and Koji Uehara fanned two in retiring the side in order in the ninth to earn his sixth save.

Today, Baltimore will hand the ball to left-handed rookie Brian Matusz, who has won his last three starts. Matusz beat the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, holding them to a pair of runs and six hits in six innings to improve to 7-12 on the year to go along with a 4.72 ERA.

Matusz has lost all three of his starts to the Yankees this season, but has pitched to a 2.41 ERA in those outings. In four career starts against them he is 1-3 with a 2.10 ERA.