Derek Jeter DH
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Eric Chavez 3B
Raul Ibanez RF
Russell Martin C
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Chris Dickerson CF
Jayson Nix 3B
RHP Phil Hughes (13-11, 4.02)
Hughes vs. Orioles
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nate McLouth LF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Chris Davis DH
Manny Machado 3B
Robert Andino 2B
RHP Chris Tillman (7-2, 3.26)
Tillman vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network/TBS
WEATHER: It definitely feels cooler than it has been the past two days. The temperature is hovering around 80 degrees. It’s a bit cloudy, with the forecast calling for possible isolated thunderstorms around 6 p.m. We’ll see if it holds out.
UMPIRES: HP Jerry Layne, 1B Bill Miller, 2B Dan Bellino, 3B Mike Estabrook
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: The Yankees are in the midst of a stretch of 22 straight games vs. AL East opponents (8/27-09/20). So far, they have gone 2-3.
IN CLOSING: The Yankees are 26-16 in series finales this season. They have won six of their last 10 finales at home.
WONDER-PHIL: Phil Hughes is undefeated in his last seven starts at home, going 6-0 with a 1.62 ERA (50 IP, 9 ER). He leads the majors with 10 wins at home, which is hard to believe considering that Hughes is a fly ball pitcher who pitches in a hitter friendly park.
(NOTE: I’ll be updating the action here every so often, but I’ll be much more active on Twitter. To join the conversation, follow me @vzmercogliano.)
UPDATE, 1:43 p.m.: Dickerson just parked a two-run shot in the right field seats. The pitch was low and inside, but he went down and smoked a laser that got out of here in a hurry. I understand why the Yankees have kept him in the minors — they simply have too many left-handed bats on the roster — but this guy is definitely a big leaguer. Yanks are up 2-0 after two.
UPDATE, 2:13 p.m.: Tillman was just taken out of the game with right elbow stiffness, so Randy Wolf has come on in relief to start the fourth for the O’s. Wolf was just added before this series to handle some of the Yankees’ left-handed hitters. Expect to see some counter moves from Girardi.
UPDATE, 2:31 p.m.: Reynolds cut the O’s deficit to 2-1 with his third homer of the series in the top of the fifth, but Hughes prevented Baltimore from doing more damage thanks to a big strikeout of Hardy to end the inning with runners on the corners. Hughes has been pretty sharp, striking out six while allowing five hits and no free passes through five innings.
UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Yanks playing a little small ball here in the fifth. After Dickerson walked, Nix bunted him over. With two outs, Swisher drove Dickerson home with a single to left. It’s 3-1 Yankees heading into the sixth.
UPDATE, 2:53 p.m.: Things have really spiraled out of control for Hughes. He looked good through four innings, but has come undone in the past two. The sixth has been especially ugly, as Hughes was just pulled after giving up four more runs without recording an out. McLouth walked, Jones singled, Wieters followed with an RBI single, and then Reynolds jacked a three-run shot. As soon as I tweeted that I was surprised to see Hughes still in to face the red-hot Reynolds, I looked up just in time to see the ball land in the left field seats. It’s 5-3 O’s with Cody Eppley coming in.