Yankees welcome division-rival O's to Bronx

Yankees welcome division-rival O's to Bronx

Aaron Judge has hit nine of his American League-leading 41 home runs off Orioles pitchers, his most against any club, and the Yankees expect to have the rookie slugger rested and ready when they open a four-game series with Baltimore on Thursday evening at Yankee Stadium.

"I think we're going to look back on this year and we're going to say, 'Man, this kid had a really good year,'" Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's had a special year. He's scored [109] runs, [110] walks, he's played outstanding defense, he runs the bases extremely well."

The Yankees are returning to the Bronx after their three-game series against the Rays was relocated to Citi Field by Hurricane Irma. Fourteen of New York's remaining 17 games will be played at Yankee Stadium, with only a three-game trip to Toronto remaining on its travel ledger.

The Yankees now trail Boston by three games in the American League East race and hold a three-game lead over the Twins for the top Wild Card spot. 

Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka draws the start for New York, looking to bounce back after seeing his three-start winning streak snapped last time out, when he surrendered seven runs in four-plus innings of an 11-5 loss to the Rangers. Tanaka is 6-4 with a 3.40 ERA in his last 13 starts.

Baltimore will counter with left-hander Wade Miley, who did not face the Yankees last week when New York took two of three games at Camden Yards, its first series victory there since September 2013. Miley has lost back-to-back starts, going 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA against the Blue Jays and Indians this month. New York has won nine of 15 games vs. Baltimore this season.

Three things to know about this game

• On one hand, Tanaka's 15.4 percent swinging-strike rate ranks fourth among pitchers with at least 2,000 pitches in 2017, behind only Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. On the other, Tanaka has allowed a barrel -- the most dangerous type of contact -- on 8.7 percent of balls put in play against him, according to Statcast. That's the eighth-highest rate among more than 120 pitchers who have generated at least 300 batted balls.

• Judge was just 7-for-30 in his last nine games entering Wednesday, but he has 11 walks in that span. He has four homers and 10 runs scored in that stretch.

• Baltimore's starting pitchers had combined to go 0-8 with a 6.75 ERA over the team's last 13 games entering play on Wednesday. The last Orioles starter to earn a win was Dylan Bundy, on Aug. 29, when he threw a shutout against the Mariners.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.