A-Rod returns to the Bronx in opener vs. Tigers

It should be an interesting scene on Friday when Alex Rodriguez returns to the Bronx, as the New York Yankees open a three-game series with the red-hot Detroit Tigers.

Rodriguez, of course, was suspended by Major League Baseball for 211 games on Monday for his involvement with the now-defunct Biogenesis Clinic in Florida.

The three-time American League MVP has appealed the ban and was showered with boos in Chicago, while going 3-for-11 in his first action since offseason hip surgery.

Rodriguez figures to get the same type of reception at Yankee Stadium.

"I am curious what it's going to be like Friday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not sure. And I don't really know what the appropriate response is. I don't think it's my right to tell people how to respond to certain situations."

Almost lost in the hoopla of the Rodriguez nonsense is the fact that the Tigers enter this series riding a 12-game winning streak following their four- game sweep of the Cleveland Indians.

How remarkable is the Tigers' current tear, which has put them seven games up in the American League Central? Well, they haven't won more than 12 consecutive games since 1934, when they won their 14th straight at Yankee Stadium to tie a franchise record.

"When we're able to execute as a team, we can do great things," said right- hander Max Scherzer, who won his major league best 17th game of the season in Thursday's 10-3 win over the Tribe. "That's why we think we're one of the best teams in the American League."

While the Tigers are rolling, New York is going the other way, as it returns home after a 2-6 road trip that culminated with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox, a team that had lost 10 in a row prior to beating up on the Yankees.

One bright spot of late for the Yankees has been right-hander Ivan Nova, who is 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA. Nova was terrific in San Diego on Saturday, as he held the Padres to just four hits over seven scoreless innings.

"I've been feeling really good," said Nova, who has given up just one run in his last two starts. "Like I've said in the past, I don't remember the last time I felt the way I feel now. I'm working hard to try to repeat it every time. I'm trying to go out there and do my job, try to help the team to win games."

Nova was roughed up by the Tigers back on April 5 to the tune of four runs in 4 2/3 innings. He is 0-2 in four games (3 starts) against them with an 8.83 ERA.

Detroit, meanwhile, will look to add another win behind the right arm of Rick Porcello, who is 8-6 with a 4.28 ERA and has won his last four decisions. Porcello did not get a decision his last time out, but pitched well against the White Sox, giving up just one run and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings of a 3-2 win.

Porcello, a native of Morristown, N.J., is 3-2 lifetime versus the Yankees with a 4.58 ERA in six starts.

The Tigers took two of three from the Yankees earlier in the year.