For the first time since winning Game 5 of the 2019 American League Championship Series, the New York Yankees will play in front of a full-capacity crowd at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
They hope it goes significantly better than their most recent results in front of limited attendance.
With NewYork coming off a 5-3 road trip, a full crowd awaits the Yankees when they host the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game series.
"It's going to be great to play with our fans (and) our stadium full," New York second baseman Rougned Odor said. "That pushes us to play better, gives us more energy to play better. I love to have the stadium 100 percent."
The Yankees are starting a stretch of 13 out of 16 games at home through July 4. They will be playing their first home game since June 6, when 19,103 fans watched them drop a 6-5, 10-inning decision to the Boston Red Sox. That loss dropped the Yankees to two games over .500 and capped a 2-5 homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston.
New York is 17-16 at home and has dropped seven of its past 10 home games since completing a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox, May 21-23.
On the just-concluded road trip, the Yankees took two ugly losses in Philadelphia, then earned a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, capped by an 8-4 victory on Thursday.
Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela homered while rookie Chris Gittens drove in three runs as the Yankees concluded the trip by collecting 11 hits and turning their second triple play of the season.
"I feel like over the last 10 days or so, we're getting close to what we think we can be, and we've got to keep at it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Oakland is anticipating the appearance of its largest crowd of the season as it starts a 10-game road trip. The largest crowd the Athletics have played in front of was 27,459, on June 5 in Colorado.
"Going into New York, it's a lot of fun," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We haven't been there in a while. That can be a pretty rowdy place. We're going to enjoy the day off (Thursday) and go into that series fresh with a fairly complete roster, so that'll help."
The Athletics head to New York on a six-game winning streak and 12-2 this month. The A's are outscoring opponents 87-46 and hitting .275 in June.
Oakland is off to its best 70-game start since 1990, when it reached its third straight World Series.
The A's kept rolling Wednesday with an 8-4 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels. Ramon Laureano homered after missing 17 games with a hip injury and also made a leaping catch in center field.
Jameson Taillon (1-4, 5.74 ERA), who is coming off the shortest outing of his career, starts Friday for New York. He allowed four runs on five hits and threw 34 pitches while getting one out Saturday in Philadelphia.
Since posting his only win, on May 1 against the Detroit Tigers, Taillon is 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in seven starts. He has never faced the A's.
Oakland's James Kaprielian (3-1, 2.51), who was acquired from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal in 2017, will make his seventh career start, all this season. He has allowed two runs or fewer in five starts, never yielding more than five hits.
Kaprielian last pitched Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, when he allowed two hits in six scoreless innings during an 11-2 win. He will oppose the Yankees for the first time.
--Field Level Media