(Sports Network) – Derek Jeter will add another milestone to his magnificent career this afternoon when the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles attempt to play a day/night doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Jeter will play in his 2,402nd game as a Yankee and will pass Mickey Mantle for the most games played in team history. He will also move into 16th place all-time in games played among players who spent their entire career with a single team.
“I don’t think you ever sit here and set your sights on a games-played record, you know what I mean?” Jeter said. “My job is to come here and play and try to stay healthy and be on the field. I guess it’s a good thing.”
This was supposed to be a five-game set with a doubledip slated for Saturday to make up for a postponed game back on April 22. However, Hurricane Irene changed those plans. Instead these teams will now play two today and the game missed on Saturday has been rescheduled for September 8.
Baltimore actually got this series started off on the right foot on Friday, as Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer, J.J. Hardy smacked a two-run shot and Mark Reynolds had a solo blast in the Orioles’ 12-5 win.
Nolan Reimold doubled, tripled and drove in three for the Orioles, who won their fifth consecutive game after plating nine runs against New York starter A.J. Burnett.
“The last five or six games have been pretty good,” Hardy said. “Our pitchers have been going out there and working fast and doing really well, and letting us score a few runs and keep the momentum on our side.”
Tommy Hunter (3-2) allowed four runs in seven innings to help Baltimore win on a night the team honored the late Mike Flanagan.
Burnett (9-11) matched a career high with nine runs allowed in five innings, finishing an arduous August. In five starts, he posted an 11.91 ERA (30 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings), and allowed six homers and 44 hits.
The right-hander has given up at least seven runs in four outings this season — three of which came in August.
“It’s really just location at this point,” said Yankees catcher Russell Martin. “He’ll make a couple good pitches with his fastball, and the next one will be belt-high. Guys at this level, they don’t miss it.”
Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher homered for the Yankees, who were coming off Thursday’s 22-9, three-grand slam rout of Oakland. They claimed the record-setting win after falling behind early, and found themselves in a similar position Friday thanks to the Orioles’ six-run second inning.
Taking the ball for the Yankees in game one will be righty Freddy Garcia, who has been on the disabled list and hasn’t pitched since August 7 because of a finger injury he sustained at home.
Garcia has been a pleasant surprise for the Yanks, going 10-7 with a 3.16 ERA. He had won three straight starts before getting a no-decision to Boston on August 7, despite allowing just a run and five hits in five innings.
He is 5-7 lifetime against the Orioles with a 4.07 ERA in 14 starts.
Ivan Nova, meanwhile, will take the ball in game two searching for his 10th straight winning decision.
Nova won his sixth straight start on Sunday in Minnesota, as he held the Twins to five hits over seven scoreless innings to run is record to 13-4 on the year, while lowering his earned run average to 3.97.
“I feel really confident in my slider,” said Nova, who is 9-0 with a 3.48 ERA over his last 10 starts. “We worked on it, we got it back, and it’s a pitch that, in situations, I can throw to left-handed hitters and get the out.”
Nova beat the Orioles the last time he faced them and is 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against them.
The Orioles hope Zach Britton can string back-to-back wins together in the first game after he won for the first time in six decisions his last time out. Britton beat the Minnesota Twins on Monday, holding them to a run and six hits in five innings. He is 7-9 on the year with a 4.54 ERA.
The left-handed Britton has faced the Yanks twice this season and is 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA. He failed to get out of the first inning against them back on July 30, surrendering six earned runs in just one-third of an inning.
Heading to the hill in the second game for the Orioles will be lefty Brian Matusz, who has lost his last six starts. Matusz was rocked yet again on Sunday by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as he allowed six runs (five earned) and nine hits in four innings, dropping him to 1-6 to go along with a 8.92 ERA.
Game Two: New York – Ivan Nova (13-4, 3.97) Baltimore – Zach Britton (7-9, 4.54).