MLB

Tigers-Yankees preview

NEW YORK -- It is not a secret that having Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner on base in the same game leads to runs for the New York Yankees.

The speedy outfielding duo's ability to get on base helped the Yankees win four in a row over the Los Angeles Angels.

On Friday, New York will hope to keep getting a spark from Ellsbury and Gardner when it opens a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

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The duo has scored in the same game 13 times this season and not surprisingly, the Yankees have won 12 of those games. In those games, New York has scored 97 runs and posted a .327 batting average (153-for-468).

"Our job is to get on base and when we're getting on base and giving those guys behind us RBI opportunities, good things happen," Gardner said Wednesday. "Our job at the top is to get on base any way we can and try and score and put up some crooked numbers."

During their four-game sweep of the Angels, the Yankees scored 29 runs and batted .343 (47-for-137). Ellsbury and Gardner combined to score 12 while batting .560 (14-for-25) as New York reached the .500 mark with Thursday's 6-3 victory.

The Yankees will be facing another opponent they have done well with at home in recent years. New York has won and 17 of 23 meetings with Detroit at the current Yankee Stadium.

New York's success over Detroit at Yankee Stadium also includes CC Sabathia (3-4, 2.58 ERA), who is 7-4 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 starts against the Tigers since joining the Yankees in 2009. Overall he is 20-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 38 starts against Detroit and is one of four active pitchers with 20 wins over an opponent.

Sabathia also has had success in the last 10 months as he is 5-6 with a 2.72 ERA in 18 starts since Aug. 1. He last pitched Sunday when he took a no-decision in Baltimore after allowing two hits in five scoreless innings of a 3-1 loss.

The Tigers have won six of their last eight games but had a five-game winning streak stopped with Wednesday's 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Jordan Zimmermann had a difficult outing in his return from missing two starts with a groin injury as he allowed seven runs on eight hits -- six for extra bases -- in 4 2/3 innings.

"They just got to Zimm today; he was a little off his game," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Everyone's going to have their off days."

One player who has not been off his game lately has been Miguel Cabrera, who is batting .293 (12-for-41) during a 10-game hitting streak. He also is one hit away from becoming the seventh active player to get 2,400 career hits.

While Cabrera is batting .342 (77-for-260) with 12 home runs and 69 RBI in 63 games against the Yankees and .380 (30-for-79) with 10 home runs and 22 RBI in 23 games at the current Yankee Stadium, he has had some recent regular-season struggles against Sabathia.

Cabrera is a .282 hitter (11-for-39) with three home runs and 14 RBI against Sabathia, but none of those hits have come recently. He is hitless in his last 15 at-bats against Sabathia since April 29, 2011.

Mike Pelfrey will start for Detroit and is familiar with the Yankees from his time with the Mets. In seven career starts against the Yankees he is 2-4 with a 4.74 and when he opposed Sabathia on April 9 in Detroit, he allowed six runs (two earned) and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Pelfrey collected his first victory in 11 starts Saturday when he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings against the Chicago White Sox.

"That felt really good," Pelfrey said. "That's my first one in Detroit, and the guys made sure to celebrate with me."

The Tigers should also have center fielder Cameron Maybin in the lineup Friday after he missed two games due to soreness in his left wrist.