Rasner reminisces, looks ahead

Rasner reminisces, looks ahead

OAKLAND -- If Darrell Rasner takes a few steps off the pitcher's mound on Wednesday and looks beyond the left-field fence, he can spot the tribute the A's marked for their 1989 World Series championship, the so-called "Battle of the Bay" that was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Rasner may have been arguably the Yankees' best pitcher of the first half so far, but back then, he was just another baseball-card-collecting 8-year-old.

A 3 1/2-hour-stretch of interstate highway made the A's his home team by default, and though he actually held a softer spot for Will Clark and the Giants, Rasner spent more than a few days sitting in the cheap seats out by the foul poles and seeing the Bash Brothers do their thing.

"It used to be the biggest, greatest deal to come here," Rasner said. "I remember seeing Bo Jackson here when the Royals played the A's. We'd have seats in the upper deck behind the foul pole. I remember watching Dave Stewart pitch."

Nostalgia aside, the Yankees will be looking for another good pitching performance from Rasner. Despite the fact that he has not won in his last three starts, it's been through little fault of his own -- Rasner allowed just two earned runs over a career-high eight innings in his last start on Friday. He has been provided with just one run of support over the three-start span.

It's a trend he'll obviously look to reverse on an evening when Rasner estimates he'll leave about 25 passes for friends and family at the gates of McAfee Coliseum. A large group will be making the trek from Carson City, and Rasner's intention is to send them home happy.

"It'll just be a nice change of pace," Rasner said.

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Darrell Rasner (3-3, 2.58 ERA)
Rasner suffered a tough-luck 2-1 loss against the Royals Friday. It marked his third straight loss, despite giving up just two runs in eight innings. The righty threw a career-high 118 pitches, scattering nine hits and striking out four. Rasner said he won't change how he's pitching and against Oakland, he'll look for some run support from the Yankees offense, which has scored just three combined runs in Rasner's last three starts.

OAK: RHP Justin Duchscherer (5-4, 2.32 ERA)
Duchscherer survived a scary hit to his left wrist and bounced back to toss another solid pitching performance in his last start against Detroit. He allowed just two runs on three hits despite a career-high five walks. It was the fifth time this season he tossed at least six innings and the seventh time he allowed two runs or fewer. Duchscherer faced the Yankees for just one inning last year, giving up two hits and no runs. He is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA lifetime against New York, all in relief.

The Yankees are 10-6 at McAfee Coliseum since the start of the '04 season, the best record there by any AL team over that span. ... Right-hander Phil Hughes is expected to be examined this week and his timetable for a big league return has been pushed back to early August. ... Johnny Damon has hit safely in 18 of 20 games, batting .464 (39-84) over that span. ... The Yankees released infielder Morgan Ensberg.

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Up next
• Thursday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-5, 4.99) at Athletics (Joe Blanton, 3-8, 4.15), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 1-2, 2.67) at Astros (Shawn Chacon, 2-2, 4.96), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Yankees (Mike Mussina, 9-4, 3.82) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 2-2, 1.99), 7:05 p.m. ET

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.