The New York Yankees responded well to being criticized by manager Joe Girardi. Now they'll rely on a pair of interleague standouts to carry them to a series win over the Pittsburgh Pirates as their three-game set concludes Thursday at PNC Park.
The Yankees (42-36) routed the Pirates 10-0 on Wednesday after Girardi said the team "stunk" in dropping the series opener 12-5. Joba Chamberlain struck out seven in 6 2-3 impressive innings to get his first win as a starter, and Derek Jeter went 3-for-3 with three runs as New York collected 16 hits."We were a lot better tonight, that was for sure," said Girardi, whose team has won nine of its last 12.Jeter has 274 interleague hits -- the most of any major leaguer -- and is a lifetime .336 hitter against the NL. The veteran shortstop has hit safely in all 13 interleague games this year, batting .392 (20-for-51) with two homers and eight RBIs, and has hit safely in 61 of his last 64 interleague games dating to June 6, 2005, while hitting .374.He will try to provide offensive support for Mike Mussina (10-5, 3.93 ERA), the winningest pitcher in interleague play since its inception in 1997. But the right-hander, who is 21-13 lifetime versus the NL, is coming off a loss to the Cincinnati Reds -- giving up four runs and a season-worst 10 hits in eight innings of a 4-2 defeat Friday.Mussina is 8-6 with a 4.38 ERA in 21 starts in NL ballparks, but the native of Williamsport, Pa., has never pitched in Pittsburgh. His only start against the Pirates (37-41) resulted in his 23rd and most recent shutout, a five-hitter on June 14, 2005, in a 9-0 victory.After this game, the Yankees return to New York to play four games against their crosstown rivals -- the Mets -- including a day-night doubleheader with games at both Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium on Friday.Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson went 3-for-3 on Wednesday and is hitting .417 (10-for-24) in his last six games. But the shortstop also made two throwing errors that contributed to the Pirates falling behind 4-0 early."They're a tough team, and I opened the door with a couple of errors and you can't do that," said Wilson, who had made only two errors in his first 28 games.Paul Maholm (5-5, 4.41) looks to extend his personal winning streak to four decisions for Pittsburgh. The left-hander, who has not lost since May 20, defeated Toronto on Saturday, giving up three runs in seven innings of a 6-3 victory."I felt comfortable. I was getting ahead. I really didn't have to throw a lot of breaking balls," Maholm told the Pirates' official Web site. "I just kind (of threw) sinker, changeup and let them hit it into the ground."Maholm is 3-0 with a 3.61 ERA in six starts during his winning streak and also has been tough at PNC Park, where he is 4-1 with a 3.47 ERA in nine starts. But he lost his only start versus the Yankees, getting reached for five runs and six hits while walking five in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-3 defeat June 9, 2007.He is 2-4 with a 4.42 ERA in nine starts versus the AL.