Yankees-Rangers Preview

The New York Yankees are determined to give Masahiro Tanaka extra rest every time they can.

The Yankees have won five straight outings by Tanaka entering his first against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night as these teams continue their four-game set in Arlington.

New York (57-42) adjusted its rotation for this series, giving Chris Capuano a spot start Tuesday to give Tanaka (7-3, 3.64 ERA) and Michael Pineda extra rest. Since Tanaka returned June 3 from a stint on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, he has pitched with at least five days' rest in every outing - going 5-2 with a 3.79 ERA in nine.

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The right-hander has posted a 2.82 ERA in winning three straight starts, yielding three runs - all on solo homers - over 7 2-3 innings in last Thursday's 9-3 victory over Baltimore. His opponents are batting .152 with 20 strikeouts in the last three games.

"The past three games, it's been gradually getting better," he said through an interpreter.

Tanaka has never faced any of the Rangers hitters.

Texas (47-52) has started left-handers in the first two games of this series to disastrous results, with New York totaling 14 runs off those starters. The Rangers will have right-handers on the mound in the last two games, beginning with Colby Lewis (10-4, 4.49).

Lewis has pitched into the eighth inning in capturing both starts since the All-Star break, allowing two runs over 7 2-3 innings with a season-high nine strikeouts in Friday's 4-2 victory at the Los Angeles Angels.

The right-hander is 2-3 with a 5.55 ERA in six starts against the Yankees, allowing five runs in 6 2-3 innings as he got credit for a 10-9 road victory May 22.

Didi Gregorius homered against him in that game and continued to torment the Rangers in Tuesday's 21-5 rout by going 4 for 5 with three RBIs. He is 7 for 9 with seven RBIs in this series and 15 for 36 with four homers and 14 RBIs in nine career games versus Texas.

The Yankees scored 11 runs in the second inning to erase a 5-0 deficit, and Chris Young's grand slam in the third opened up a 15-5 advantage.

''I've seen a snowman (8) but I've never seen 11 (runs). Everybody was swinging the bats well, but it's still big-league pitching,'' left fielder Brett Gardner said. ''When you're down five, if you can scratch one across that's good, but more is even better. It speaks to the character of this team to come back and answer that quickly.''

Young was 3 for 6 with a career-high five RBIs while Gardner was 3 for 4 with three walks, a career-high five runs scored and three RBIs.

The bottom third of the New York lineup is 15 for 28 with 12 RBIs in this series.

Young will likely sit Wednesday since he's a .185 hitter against right-handers. Carlos Beltran could return to the lineup in his place.

Texas has lost three straight and 12 of 13 at home, where it is a major league-worst 16-28. The Rangers committed three errors and were held hitless after they had three in the first inning.

"My overall take is it's not the way we want to play the game of baseball," manager Jeff Banister said.

Josh Hamilton sat out Tuesday and is expected back in the lineup.