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Road Kill

The New York Yankees have certainly had their problems on the road in recent years against the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Mussina, however, has not.

Mussina will try to help the Yankees bounce back from yet another road loss to the Angels when the teams play the middle game of their series Tuesday night.

New York (70-55) had won three straight over reigning AL champion Detroit coming into this series, but its run ended with a 7-6, 10-inning loss to AL West-leading Los Angeles (73-51) on Monday night.

"Both teams are good and both teams know what it takes to win," New York's Johnny Damon said.

The Yankees are 4-10 on the road against the Angels since 2004, including two losses in three games during the teams' 2005 AL division series.

Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Los Angeles -130 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -130 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

New York, which has dropped five games behind first-place Boston in the AL East, will now give the ball to Mussina (8-8, 4.76 ERA). The veteran right-hander has three of the Yankees' four road wins against the Angels since 2004.

Mussina is 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA in his last five road starts versus Los Angeles and is 10-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 17 such outings all-time against the Angels, including two starts in the 2005 playoffs. He faced the Angels at Yankee Stadium on May 27 and did not get a decision, giving up two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3 loss.

Mussina is 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 30 starts overall against Los Angeles.

Against Detroit on Thursday night, however, Mussina surrendered seven runs and nine hits in five innings of an 8-5 loss. He won his previous four starts, posting a 2.84 ERA.

"All the things I was doing well the last four games, I couldn't do today," Mussina said.

The Angels will counter with Kelvim Escobar (13-6, 2.68 ERA), who has a 1.56 ERA over his last eight starts but is only 4-3 in that span. He won his second straight start Thursday night, giving up one run and five hits while striking out nine in seven innings to beat Toronto 4-3.

Escobar earned a win in New York on May 26, allowing one run and six hits in seven innings of a 3-1 victory. He's 7-7 with seven saves and a 4.98 ERA in 16 starts and 19 relief appearances against New York.

Jason Giambi, batting .353 (12-for-34) with three home runs and four doubles against Escobar, may be back in the designated hitter spot for the Yankees after yielding to Damon on Monday. New York manager Joe Torre said Giambi would be the DH either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Even without Giambi, the Yankees collected 12 hits Monday to reach double figures in that category for the sixth straight game.

The Angels overcame two-run homers by Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada on Monday en route to their eighth walkoff victory of the season, remaining two games ahead of second-place Seattle in the AL West. Rookie Ryan Budde doubled in Howie Kendrick with the winning run in the 10th inning.

"I was just trying to get a base hit," Budde said. "We never give up."

Kendrick went 2-for-3 with three runs scored in his first game off the 15-day disabled list. The second baseman, who was out with a broken middle finger, is hitting .303 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 52 games.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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