BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees have two shots to nail down home-field advantage in today's day/night doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles, whose only motivation is to try and reach .500 by the close of business tomorrow.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has adopted a curious strategy to achieve that goal, hedging his bets with a split lineup that is righty-heavy for Game 1 when the Orioles will be starting left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and lefty-hefty for the nightcap, which will be started by right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. He is also starting Ivan Nova n the first game, hoping to be able to conserve rookie Luis Severino's usage in Game 2 if the Yankees can manage to win the first game.
Here's the Game 1 lineup:
Chris Young LF
Jose Pirela RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Nova (6-10, 4.89)
Girardi said "everyone not playing the first game will play the second," meaning we'll see Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius and Dustin Ackley later on. Alex Rodriguez, Gardner and Headley will not play ... Nova is 6-3 with a 4.89 ERA in 13 starts against the Orioles, and 2-0 with a 4.71 at Camden ... Chen is 3-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 13 appearances against the Yankees and 1-1 with a 5.46 at Camden. On Sept. 7, the Yankees scored four earned runs in five innings, including home runs by Rodriguez and Murphy, in an 8-6 Yankees victory.