Yankees turn to Green versus Rangers

( - Shane Green tries to pitch the New York Yankees to their fourth straight win on Monday when they open a four-game series with the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium.

Green has been terrific for the Yankees since being inserted into the rotation two starts ago, winning both of his starts, while surrendering just two runs in 13 1/3 innings.

He was marvelous in his last start on July 12 versus Baltimore, as he scattered four hits and struck out nine batters over 7 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win.

Green, who will be making his Bronx debut tonight, is also the first Yankees pitcher to work at least six innings and allow four hits or fewer in each of his first two Major League starts

"It was awesome, for sure," said Greene. "It means a lot. It means a lot that I got the opportunity, and it means a lot that I can come up here and help the team win."

New York, meanwhile, came out of the break with an impressive three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds to pull within three games of the first-place Orioles in the American League East.

The Yanks had lost five in a row before the Reds series.

"I think it's everyone involved," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a team effort, because there's gonna be days where pitchers struggle a little bit. They pick them up offensively, so I think it's everyone. It's gonna take everyone in that clubhouse to play better at home."

Texas, meanwhile, continues to sputter and is a miserable 4-24 since June 17 and has dropped 10 of 11 after a series loss in Toronto over the weekend. The Rangers are 20 games below .500 for the first time since finishing the 2003 season 71-91.

"I'm not upset with the way we're playing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Those guys put us in a position to be able to win some ballgames. We've just got to pitch better."

Hoping to reverse their fortunes tonight the Rangers will turn to righty Miles Mikolas, who has not enjoyed the same type of success Green has since being recalled on July 1. Mikolas lost to the Los Angeles Angels on July 12, as he allowed five runs (4 earned) and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings to fall to 0-2 to go along with a 10.05 ERA.

He had given up just a run in five innings before yielding four runs in the sixth inning.

"He had 68 pitches going into the sixth inning; he was throwing well," Washington said. "I pull him out right there, what do I have to do? Get four more innings out of my bullpen? No, he's got to figure out a way to get through that."

These clubs are meeting for the first time since the Rangers won four of seven encounters a season ago.