Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 18 (All times eastern)
Cincinnati Reds (51-44) at New York Yankees (47-47), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Mike Leake (7-7, 3.54) New York - David Phelps (3-4, 3.94)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The second half of the season gets underway Friday night at Yankee Stadium as the New York Yankees host the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game set.
Cincinnati sits 1 1/2 games back of Milwaukee in the National League Central Division standings. The Reds won seven of nine entering the All-Star break, although the lineup is currently minus sluggers Joey Votto (strained left quadriceps) and Brandon Phillips (left thumb surgery).
Phillips will miss more than a month, while Votto's stint on the disabled list is his second of the season for a nagging thigh injury. Their absences place added pressure on the shoulders of Todd Frazier, who leads the team in batting average (.290), home runs (19) and RBI (53).
"We'll have some decisions on the roster and what it looks like going into New York, the designated hitter and things of that nature," manager Bryan Price said. "But our bullpen should be rested for sure, the starters will be in a lot better place."
New York is also in third place in the American League East at 47-47, five games behind Baltimore. However, the Yankees sputtered into the All-Star break by losing three of four. They can make up some ground by taking advantage of their 10-game homestand, which begins with Friday's series opener.
But stringing together wins will be a tall order without ace Masahiro Tanaka, who is on the disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He is one of four injured starting pitchers for the Yankees, along with right fielder Carlos Beltran, who is dealing with a concussion.
"With everything that we had go wrong, we're still in it," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the big thing. We've got to take advantage of that when we get back to work on Friday."
With Tanaka unavailable, David Phelps gets the start for New York in Friday's opener. The right-hander is 3-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 22 games (13 starts) this season. In his last start, Phelps allowed two earned runs in six innings at Cleveland.
"He's been really, really good," Girardi said. "He's been on a little bit of a roll for us, which is important."
Toeing the rubber for Cincinnati is Mike Leake, who is 7-7 with a 3.54 ERA in 19 starts. He went six innings against Pittsburgh on Saturday and allowed four earned runs on nine hits for a no-decision. Leake's ERA over his last 13 starts is 4.50, up from 2.16 in six May starts.
Cincinnati won two of three at Yankee Stadium when these teams last faced each other in 2012.
07/18 10:42:27 ET