NEW YORK (Reuters) - A five-game losing streak has dropped the New York Yankees from first place but help is on the way with Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis expected to come off the disabled list on Friday.
First baseman Teixeira (wrist) and third baseman Youkilis (back) hope to liven up the Yankees attack in this weekend’s American League East showdown against the visiting Boston Red Sox, who have leapfrogged New York into the division lead.
The Yankees’ skid was made even more painful since the last four defeats came against the New York Mets, who swept their Subway Series this week with a dominant run of pitching.
The sting would smart less, however, with a rebound against Boston (33-22).
“I’m sure there will be a buzz in the air and there will be excitement again tomorrow,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters after Thursday’s loss to the Mets. “Tomorrow is as good a day to get back to our winning ways as any.”
The Yankees (30-23) could reclaim the AL East lead with a sweep of the three-game series.
More help is on the way for the New Yorkers, who have fielded a patch-work team to handle a spate of injuries.
Veteran starting pitcher Andy Pettitte (shoulder) is expected to return to action on Monday as the team slowly returns to health.
Still in the wings are two of New York’s biggest names, Derek Jeter (ankle) and Alex Rodriguez (hip), who are not expected back until after the All-Star break in July, while Curtis Granderson returned to the disabled list after breaking a knuckle when he was hit by a pitch last week.
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue