Freddy Garcia goes after his third straight win this evening when the New York Yankees play the third test of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium.
Garcia was terrific on Friday in Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to a pair of runs and five hits in six innings. He also struck out four without walking a batter and ran his record to 6-5, while lowering his ERA to 4.85.
Since rejoining the Yankees' rotation in July, the 35-year-old has posted a 4-3 record with a 3.83 ERA. In seven of his eight starts over that stretch, he has allowed three runs or less.
"His velocity is up, and when his velocity is up, most of his other pitches are crisper, and that's really the big difference," said Yankees catcher Russell Martin. "His velocity was down when he was getting banged around a little bit, and now that he has gotten velocity back, he is much better."
Garcia has faced the Rangers 22 times and is 8-5 with a 4.10 ERA.
New York got a sensational performance from Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday, as the Japanese right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira belted back-to-back homers to help the Yankees to a 3-0 win.
The homers for Swisher and Teixeira came in the bottom of the seventh, after Elvis Andrus broke up the no-hit bid in the top portion.
Kuroda (11-8) allowed two hits, walked two and fanned five to earn his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, as the AL East leaders won for the sixth time in their last seven contests.
"He's probably been overall our most consistent guy," Martin said. "Every fifth day he gives us a chance to win. He's been awesome and it just seems like he's getting stronger and stronger as the year goes on."
Matt Harrison (13-7) was charged with five hits and a run over 6 1/3 innings for the AL West-leading Rangers, who have lost seven in a row at Yankee Stadium.
Tonight, Texas will hand the ball to righty Scott Feldman, who is 6-7 with a 4.64 ERA. Feldman lost for the first time in seven decisions on Friday against Detroit, as he allowed four runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"I'm just looking at trying to make good pitches and get those guys to swing the bat," Feldman said. "There are a lot of challenges in this league and a lot of good hitters. The Yankees have good hitters, the Tigers have good hitters and so do we. I'm just focused on making good pitches."
Feldman is 3-2 in seven games (5 starts) against the Yankees with a 4.85 ERA.
On the milestone front, if Joe Nathan converts his next save opportunity, he will set the Rangers record for most consecutive converted save opportunities.
Nathan has converted 21 straight since blowing a save against the Mariners on April 11, putting together the third-longest such streak in the Majors behind Chris Perez (24) and Fernando Rodney (22).
The Rangers took two of three from the Yankees earlier in the year.