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New York Yankees (18-4) at Texas Rangers (10-12), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Mike Mussina (4-0, 1.86)
Texas - Colby Lewis (3-0, 4.43)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees hope to avoid two straight losses by
their starting rotation tonight when they open a three-game set against the
Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Bernie Williams homered and Hideki Matsui had two hits and an RBI for the
Yankees, who had a seven-game winning streak stopped with a 6-2 loss to the
Anaheim Angles on Thursday.
Williams recorded his 1,866th career hit, tying him for eighth on the Yankee
list with Earle Combs.
Andy Pettitte took the loss for New York and became the first Yankee starter
to lose a game in 17 decisions this season. The Yankee starters had recorded
wins in 20 straight regular-season decisions dating back to last season,
breaking the previous AL record of 18 set by the 1906 Chicago White Sox. New
York finished three wins short of the major league record posted by the 1916
New York Giants.
Pettitte (3-1) surrendered six runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked
three and struck out three.
Alfonso Soriano went 1-for-5 for New York and extended his hitting streak to
12 games, while Raul Mondesi also had a hit to increase his streak to 11 games
Mike Mussina gets the call tonight and will try to equal the best start of his
career. Mussina, who has won his first four starts this season, opened the
1992 campaign at 5-0 while with the Baltimore Orioles.
The 34-year-old righthander, who is pitching to a 1.86 ERA, allowed two runs
on five hits over seven innings, while striking out eight and walking three in
his last start on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins.
Mussina is 10-11 with a 4.28 ERA in 24 career starts against Texas.
The Rangers, meanwhile, come into Friday's series opener on the heels of
taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox, including Thursday's 16-5 rout in
the series finale. Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez each slammed three-run
homers to lead the Texas onslaught.
Palmeiro, Gonzalez and Michael Young each collected three hits for the
Rangers, who won for the third time in four tries. The outburst was Texas'
first double-digit scoring game of the season and their most runs since a 19-7
win over the Red Sox last August 1.
Carl Everett finished 2-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to nine games.
During the tear he is 13-for-29 with four home runs and 10 RBI.
R.A. Dickey (1-1) pitched three innings, allowing one run, after replacing
starter Ryan Drese to earn the victory.
Colby Lewis will take the hill tonight for the Rangers and will be looking to
build upon his finest outing of the season. The 23-year-old righthander, who
is 3-0 with a 4.43 ERA, surrendered just one run and four hits over six
innings in a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Lewis, who has allowed more than three runs just once in his four starts, will
be making his first career start against the Yankees.
Ismael Valdes was scheduled to start tonight's contest, but was scratched on
Thursday with tightness in his right shoulder. He was then placed on the 15-
day disabled list.
The Yankees have hit a major league high 44 homers this year and have
allowed just seven. Texas is second in the league with homers with 39.
New York took four of the seven meetings between the two teams last season and
is 17-9 against the Rangers since the start of the 2000 season. The Yankees
are also 9-4 in their last 13 trips to Arlington.
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