Igawa gets call for second Bronx start

Igawa gets call for second Bronx start

Joe Torre knows from having seen Kei Igawa in Spring Training that the veteran left-hander has a lot better stuff to show fans than what he delivered in his debut at Yankee Stadium on April 7.

Igawa had a 3.13 ERA during Spring Training and struck out a team-high 22.

"You could see he was nervous," Torre said before the Yankees beat Cleveland, 10-3, on Tuesday night. "He pitched much better in Oakland before giving up a couple of runs late."

The eight-year veteran of the Hanshin Tigers, signed by the Yankees through the Japanese posting system in December, worked 5 1/3 innings in that Oakland start, giving up three runs on three hits, walking two and striking out three.

That was a great improvement over the five-inning effort Igawa made against Baltimore on April 7. In that game, he allowed seven runs on eight hits over five innings. He gave up two homers, walked three and struck out two.

Torre will be looking for a vast improvement on Wednesday night, when Igawa faces a Cleveland team that's 1-3 against lefty starters after Tuesday's loss to rookie Chase Wright. Of course, the Yankees won't have it easy. They'll be up against left-hander Jeremy Sowers, who has no record but has posted a 2.08 ERA over two starts.

Pitching matchup
CLE: LHP Jeremy Sowers (0-0, 2.08 ERA)
Sowers gave up just one run on six hits over seven innings in his last start, a game against the Angels played in Milwaukee. In his first start, he gave up just one hit over six innings to the White Sox, but walked a career-high five. He's 1-0 lifetime against New York, but will be making his first start at Yankee Stadium.

NYY: LHP Kei Igawa (0-0, 7.84 ERA)
Igawa showed improvement in his second start as a Yankee, last Friday in Oakland, but will be looking to improve on his New York debut. In that game, his first as a Yankee, the Japanese star allowed seven runs on eight hits in a five-inning effort that included 97 pitches. He worked 5 1/3 innings against Oakland, yielding two runs on three hits in a second no-decision effort.

Player to watch
Alex Rodriguez continues to pound the ball to lead the Yankees' offense. The third baseman slammed his league-leading eighth home run of the season on Tuesday, and his three RBIs brought his season total to a league-leading 21.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• WCBS-AM 880 AM, WZAA-FM 92.3 FM (Spanish)

Up next
• Thursday: Yankees (RHP Darrell Rasner, 0-1, 4.66) vs. Indians (RHP Fausto Carmona, 0-1, 12.46), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Yankees (LHP Andy Pettitte, 1-0, 1.50) at Boston (RHP Curt Schilling, 2-1, 2.84), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Yankees (RHP Jeff Karstens, 2-1, 3.80 in 2006) at Boston (RHP Josh Beckett, 3-0, 1.50), 3:55 p.m. ET

Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.