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American League Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, July 19th (All times Eastern)

New York Yankees (57-34) at Oakland Athletics (47-44), 10:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Freddy Garcia (4-2, 5.25) Oakland - A.J. Griffin (1-0, 2.63)

(Sports Network) - Not even mother nature could stop the New York Yankees.

The Yankees made sure they put up enough runs before rain washed away possibly the last few innings of Wednesday's 6-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The AL East leaders posted their eighth sweep of the season with a 6-0 win after 6 1/2 innings and will carry that momentum across the country into tonight's opener of a four-game set against the Oakland Athletics.

New York had a 12-4 advantage in hits and received a home run from Mark Teixeira in the club's ninth win in 11 tries. DeWayne Wise drove in two runs and the red-hot Robinson Cano went 1-for-3 with a run scored to extend his career-high hitting streak to 21 games. Cano has 14 runs, six homers, 20 RBI and 11 multi-hit games during the surge.

Hiroki Kuroda tossed all seven innings for New York, scattering four hits and striking out five.

"His command was great," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said of Kuroda. "The Blue Jays are an aggressive team. We kind of used their aggressiveness against them, pounding them in and then speeding them up and then using off-speed (pitches) when we needed to."

The Yankees, who lead the AL East by 10 games ahead of Baltimore and went 5-1 on the homestand, have scored three or more runs in 42 straight games. The team record is 49 games from Sept. 7, 1950 through May 16, 1951. Cleveland did it in 48 games back in 1994. The Yankees lead the majors with 146 home runs and have gone deep 45 times in the past 24 contests. They are 39-2 when holding opponents to three runs or less.

Meanwhile, Teixeira is batting .341 with six homers, 12 runs and 19 RBI in the past 12 games for New York, which outscored the Blue Jays by an 18-4 margin in the set and will also visit Seattle on the trek.

Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Yanks in Thursday's series opener at the Coliseum and has won his last four decisions, dating back to June 16. He allowed three runs in five innings of Saturday's 5-3 victory against the LA Angels of Anaheim, improving to 4-2 in 17 games (7 starts) with a 5.25 earned run average this season.

Garcia, a right-hander, is 2-0 in eight road appearances, four of which have been starts, and will face Oakland for the 23rd time in his career. He is 7-7 with a 5.22 ERA lifetime against the A's.

Oakland could give the Yankees some trouble as evidenced by its 10-2 mark this month. The Athletics just split a two-game series with Texas and posted a 4-3 triumph on Wednesday thanks to home runs from Brandon Inge and Brandon Hicks.

"It was exciting to get a big hit in that situation," said Hicks. "Any time you can win a game it's exciting for the team and for yourself."

Josh Reddick had two hits and two RBI for the Athletics, who are eight games off the lead in the AL West. Coco Crisp had a hit in his return to the lineup and was bothered by a balky left shoulder.

Travis Blackley started for Oakland and gave up three runs in 5 1/3 frames, while Ryan Cook tossed a scoreless inning of relief for the win (3-2).

A.J. Griffin has the luxury of taking on the Yankees tonight and will make the fifth start of his career. The young right-hander, who made his major league debut June 24 versus San Francisco, is 1-0 with a 2.63 earned run average in four starts and is coming off his first career win.

Griffin held Minnesota to three runs over six innings of a 6-3 victory last Friday at Target Field, and has lasted six innings in each of his starts. He has no record and a 3.00 ERA in two starts at the Coliseum.

The Athletics were swept by New York in three games from May 25-27 and have lost nine in a row as the host in this series.

07/19 11:05:24 ET

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