Curtis Granderson's return from the disabled list didn't go as planned for the New York Yankees and they'll try to regroup Saturday in the continuation of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
Granderson missed the first month and a half of the season due to a fractured forearm, then returned for eight games before he broke his left pinkie May 24. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Friday's 7-2 loss at Petco Park
Chris Stewart led the Yankees with two hits and CC Sabathia was hammered for five runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings to absorb the loss, New York's fourth in the last six tries. Yankees manager Joe Girardi understands that a dominant Sabathia is what the club needs to make a playoff push.
"It obviously makes it more difficult," Girardi said of the left-hander's recent struggles. "That's the bottom line. We need him to be CC if we're going to make a run."
Eduardo Nunez had an RBI double for the Yankees, who are four games off in the AL wild card race and split two games in Los Angeles to start this eight-game journey.
While the Yankees wait on potential penalties for third baseman Alex Rodriguez due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, the slugger homered in Friday's game for the Double-A Trenton Thunder. A-Rod crushed a two-run shot to left field off Phillies touted prospect Jesse Biddle.
"It's probably the best I've felt since we started this process," Rodriguez said. "I feel like I'm there. I'm ready to go."
Rodriguez is expected to play again for the Thunder Saturday.
The Yankees will send Ivan Nova to the mound in the second meeting with the Padres and he is 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 12 games (9 starts) this season. Nova, who spent time on the DL, has lost back-to-back outings and gave up only one run in seven innings of a tough 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay last Saturday.
Nova, a right-hander, has pitched well for the most part this season and has lasted at least seven innings in four straight trips to the mound. Nova has never faced the Padres in his career.
San Diego won for the fifth time in six tries versus the Yankees and did so behind starting pitcher Andrew Cashner. Cashner held New York to two runs in seven innings and did not walk a batter. He struck out two.
"He had them dancing a little bit with the fastball," Padres manager Bud Black said of his starter. "I thought he was very effective."
It helped Cashner that the offense provided 14 hits, including three home runs. Will Venable, Jedd Gyorko and Logan Forsythe all went deep and Everth Cabrera finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Padres are 3-1 on an eight-game homestand and their pitching staff owns a 5-1 mark in the past six contests. They hope to record a fourth straight series win with Tyson Ross set to take the hill Saturday.
Ross has won two straight outings and delivered eight scoreless innings in Sunday's 1-0 triumph at Arizona. He fanned seven batters and allowed only one walk, improving to 2-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 24 games (5 starts).
The right-handed Ross has faced the Yankees four times (1 start) in his career and is winless (0-2) with a 7.27 ERA in that span.
The Yankees took two of three from the Padres the last time they were in San Diego back in 2002.