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Yanks close out regular season vs. O's

Yanks close out regular season vs. O's

The Yankees have had an exciting week after clinching their 13th straight playoff appearance on Wednesday night and inching closer to the Red Sox with Thursday's win, and they now head to Baltimore to close out the season with a weekend set against the O's.

Mike Mussina will toe the slab in Friday's series opener. There's still a chance that the Yankees could claim the American League East championship, albeit a small one, and Mussina's been one of the most effective against the O's, his former team.

The 38-year-old holds opponents to a .251 batting average during his career at Camden Yards. He's been on point since he rejoined the rotation, and piled up three straight wins in September with a 1.93 ERA. He didn't allow a run in two of those starts, including a Sept. 18 outing against Baltimore.

In the other start, his most recent, Mussina permitted three runs over seven innings against Toronto. The righty fanned five and walked just one in the contest, allowing all the runs in one rocky third inning before recovering to shut down the Jays the rest of the way.

The Orioles will send Jon Leicester to oppose Mussina. The righty has been hit-or-miss since assuming the starter's role in September, with two wins followed by two losses. He looked sharp in his last effort, a complete-game (eight inning) loss at Texas in which he allowed just three runs.

Baltimore has been out of contention for some time now. Still, Leicester may be fiery as he tries to achieve his personal goals, one of which is to impress decision-makers and prove to the team that he deserves to be next season's primary long reliever.

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (11-10, 4.96 ERA)
Lefties are hitting .243 hitting against Mussina for his career.

BAL: RHP Jon Leicester (2-3, 6.51 ERA)
Leicester has a 4.71 career ERA on the road, compared with 6.19 at home.

Players to watch
Derek Jeter is 2-for-2 in his career against Leicester. Doug Mientkiewicz's lone hit against the righty was a three-run homer.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• MY9

On radio
• WCBS, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 14-9, 3.81) at Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 9-17, 5.36), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Yankees (Kei Igawa, 2-3, 6.25) at Orioles (Brian Burres, 6-7, 5.66), 1:35 p.m. ET

Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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