Major League Baseball
Preview
NY Yankees at Texas
When: 8:05 PM ET, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

Brett Gardner appeared to be the odd man out when the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a huge free-agent deal in the offseason, but he is emerging into his team's most indispensable player. Gardner is 7-for-10 with three homers in his last two games and will look to lead New York to victory in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game set with the host Texas Rangers. Mark Teixeira celebrated his return to the starting lineup Tuesday with his 18th homer.

J.P Arencibia was batting a paltry .133 when Texas demoted him to the minors in mid-May but he has provided steady run production since his recall at the All-Star break. Arencibia broke out in a big way in Tuesday's 12-11 loss, belting a pair of homers - including a grand slam - among his four extra-base hits and driving in a career-high seven runs. While his average is still below the Mendoza line at .183, Arencibia has a team-leading 16 RBIs in 12 games since his return to the Rangers.

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, YES (New York), FSN Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Hiroki Kuroda (7-6, 3.99 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Colby Lewis (6-8, 6.23)

Kuroda was not especially sharp last time out but managed to pick up the win against Toronto despite giving up four runs and a pair of homers in 5 2/3 innings. He pitched superbly in his previous two turns, allowing a total of two earned runs and six hits over 13 2/3 innings, but had only a pair of no-decisions to show for it. Kuroda is a deceptive 2-2 in five career starts versus Texas with a 2.08 ERA and .208 batting average against.

Lewis dropped to 0-3 lifetime in four career starts against the Yankees, giving up three runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings Thursday in New York. It was the third consecutive losing start overall for Lewis, who has registered a 1-5 record and nightmarish 8.40 ERA in nine home starts this season. Ichiro Suzuki has a long track record against Lewis, batting .358 in 53 at-bats, while captain Derek Jeter is 3-for-5 with a pair of homers.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York has hit at least two homers in five straight games, its longest streak since a five-game stretch in June 2012.

2. Arencibia has four homers and nine RBIs in six games versus the Yankees this season - all coming since July 22.

3. Gardner is 11-for-21 with four homers and four RBIs in six games against Texas this month.

PREDICTION: Yankees 5, Rangers 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
NY Yankees 55-51 W1 25-26 30-25 19-22 9-9 14-13 13-7
Texas 42-65 L1 20-33 22-32 8-20 11-10 17-26 6-9
Last Meeting
NY Yankees Texas
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/29/14 NYY 12 TEX 11 .316 2 .953 .357 2 1.068
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
NY Yankees B. Gardner .524 11 1.863
Texas R. Odor .286 6 .681
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
NY Yankees B. Gardner 4 8 5
Texas J. Arencibia 4 4 11
Pitching ERA Avg K
NY Yankees 3.83 .253 48
Texas 3.93 .254 33
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
NY Yankees B. Gardner .283 109 .812
Texas A. Beltre .321 115 .882
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
NY Yankees M. Teixeira 18 42 50
Texas A. Beltre 15 56 57
Pitching ERA Avg K
NY Yankees 3.89 .253 897
Texas 4.88 .259 754