(SportsNetwork.com) - As their Subway Series shifts to Citi Field, the New York Yankees and New York Mets will both turn to rookies on Wednesday evening with differing expectations.
After dropping a pair of games to the Mets in the Bronx, the Yankees losing streak in this series has reached six in a row. They also have lost a season- high four straight overall and hope that Masahiro Tanaka can stop the bleeding in the first of two straight in Flushing.
The right-handed Tanaka has yet to lose as a Major League pitcher, going 5-0 with a 2.57 earned run average through seven starts. However, dating back to his time in Nippon Professional Baseball, the Japanese hurler is unbeaten in his past 41 regular-season starts, going 33-0 since Aug. 19, 2012.
Tanaka has won two straight starts and is coming off a 5-3 victory at Milwaukee on Friday. He gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven. He has won all three of his road starts this season while posting a 2.61 ERA.
The 25-year-old also is the first Yankees rookie to begin his career 5-0 as a starter since Whitey Ford went 9-0 over 12 starts in 1950.
The Mets have decided to give their future a shot on Wednesday night as 23- year-old Rafael Montero will make his MLB debut. He'll take the place of fellow righty Jenrry Mejia, who shifts to the bullpen.
Montero is regarded as the Mets' second-best pitching prospect behind Noah Syndergaard and went 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA in eight starts this season with Triple-A Las Vegas. In 24 starts at that level over the last two seasons, he is 9-5 with a 3.25 ERA while striking out 119 batters over 130 1/3 innings.
And while the Yankees are looking for Tanaka to get them back on track, the Mets are simply ready to see what Montero can bring to the table.
"We think he's ready now," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told his club's website of Montero. "I think everybody in our system thought that he was ready. That doesn't mean he'll have a positive result on Wednesday, but we're confident that Montero is somebody who can be successful long term."
Though the Mets have allowed 14 runs over the first two games of this extended series, they have gotten plenty of offense themselves in winning both games at Yankee Stadium. They jumped out to a quick lead on Tuesday night and rolled to a 12-7 win.
Former Yankee Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy both hit three-run homers, with Murphy driving in four runs in total and David Wright adding three hits with two RBI to the Mets' third straight win.
Zack Wheeler gave up five runs on seven hits and six walks in 4 1/3 innings for the Mets and Daisuke Matsuzaka earned the win with 3 2/3 innings of relief work.
"Any way we get wins is good, especially when we come up against a very tough team like the Yankees and to do it in their ballpark is obviously big," said Granderson. "It puts us in a position now to win the series but it definitely isn't done yet because we know the Yankees aren't going to quit."
The Mets have won the past six meetings in this series after having gone 3-9 against the Yankees in 2011-12.
Vidal Nuno gave up seven runs -- five earned -- on four hits and four walks in just 3 1/3 innings to suffer the loss. The lefty's ERA climbed nearly a full point to 6.43.
"He just got some balls in the middle of the plate today," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He's a guy who has to live on the edges and they made it hurt."
Brian McCann hit a two-run homer and Yangervis Solarte added a solo shot for the Yankees, who have lost nine of their past 13 games overall. McCann finished with three hits and three RBI.