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The New York Yankees‘ prospects down the stretch and in the postseason might depend on how much they can get out of veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte, something they’ll know more about after the 40-year-old makes his return from the disabled list Tuesday against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Pettitte’s start in the opener of the three-game series will be his first since June 27, five days after Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero’s last win. Romero is looking to snap a 13-game losing streak. New York is clinging to a one-half game lead in the American League East over Baltimore.
The Yankees are catching a Toronto team that has dropped four of six, but the Blue Jays have won four straight and five of six on the road, including taking two of three from New York last month. The Yankees lead the season series 6-5. New York has lost the season series to Toronto only once since 2001, dropping 10 of 18 meetings in 2010.
Blue Jays Yankees Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SN (Toronto), MY9 (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.87 ERA) vs. Yankees LH Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.22)
Incredibly, Romero started 8-1 before losing 13 of his last 14 starts with one tough-luck no-decision mixed in. He lasted only four innings last time out, walking four and allowing three runs on eight hits in a loss to Seattle. The Yankees have beaten Romero twice during the streak. He is 3-7 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 starts against them.
Pettitte was pitching well before a fractured left ankle landed him on the disabled for more than two months. He will be limited to about 70 pitches in his return, but that should give an indication of how much the Yankees can rely on him down the stretch. Pettitte has not faced Toronto this season, but is 21-12 with a 4.16 ERA in 42 games (41 starts) against the Blue Jays in his career.
1. New York SS Derek Jeter is riding a 12-game hitting streak and needs one hit to record the eighth 200-hit season of his career. Only Ichiro Suzuki (10), Pete Rose (10) and Ty Cobb (9) have more.
2. The Blue Jays have scheduled a press conference before the game regarding SS Yunel Escobar wearing eye black containing an anti-gay slur in his native Spanish. The statement did not indicate any disciplinary action, but said the Blue Jays “do not support discrimination of any kind nor condone the message displayed by Escobar.”
3. Yankees CF Curtis Granderson needs one home run to become the first Yankees outfielder since Mickey Mantle to record consecutive 40-homer seasons.