First Pitch: Will the bats wake up tonight?

June, 21, 2013
6/21/13
6:00
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Yankees haven’t been able to score many runs this season, but they’ve always had success against Roberto Hernandez -- formerly known as Fausto Carmona.

Hernandez (4-7, 5.02 ERA), who will start for the Rays on Friday night, is 1-6 in his career against the Yankees (12 appearances, nine starts) with a 7.50 ERA.

The Yankees beat Hernandez 9-4 in Tampa Bay on May 24; the right-hander gave up five runs on six hits in a season-low four innings. In his last four starts against the Yankees, Hernandez has surrendered 26 earned runs on 39 hits in 20 2/3 innings.

On Thursday night, the Yankees started the following batting averages: .280, .260, .278, .221, .224, .270, .242, .263, .098. Not exactly Murderers' Row.

On the season, they’re hitting just .238 as a team and averaging 3.9 runs per game.

But the way they’ve been pitching (3.81 team ERA), the Yankees -- without the likes of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and now Mark Teixeira (again) and Kevin Youkilis (again) -- have been able to stay in the race. On Friday night, they’ll hope their mostly dormant bats come to life against a pitcher they’ve historically owned.

UP NOW: Kieran Darcy writes about the Yankees’ offensive struggles in Thursday night’s 8-3 loss. I wrote about Andy Pettitte, who was ineffective once again.

ON DECK: David Phelps (4-4, 4.08) vs. Hernandez, first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Ian Begley makes his 2013 debut in the Bronx for ESPNNewYork.com alongside Andrew Marchand.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146