(SportsNetwork.com) - David Phelps tries to lead the New York Yankees to their third consecutive shutout on Friday when they start a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Yankee Stadium.
After losing the first two legs of the Subway Series versus the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees responded with back-to-back scoreless performances at Citi Field to even the set.
Chase Whitley was terrific in his big league debut for the Yanks on Thursday, as he gave up two hits and a pair of walks before being pulled with two outs in the fifth of the Yankees' 1-0 win.
Dellin Betances (2-0) picked it up from there, as he struck out six of the seven batters he faced in a dominating performance. Adam Warren got into a little trouble in the eighth, but closer David Robertson ended that threat and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save of the season.
"I'm just trying to make pitches," Betances said. "At that point, the game is still close. I'm just like, 'Let's get ahead.' If I can get ahead, I know I can put some guys away. Today was one of those days I was able to do that, and I'm just glad I got the win."
Alfonso Soriano's RBI triple in the seventh was more than enough for the Yankees, who are just 5-4 in their last nine games.
Now, they turn to Phelps, who was not sharp his last time out. Phelps did not get a decision on Sunday in Milwaukee, but surrendered four runs and eight hits in five innings of his team's 6-5 loss. He has yet to record a decision this season, but is pitching to a 4.09 ERA.
"It's a frustrating game," said Phelps, who will be making his third start in place of the injured Michael Pineda. "When I was getting ahead of guys, I wasn't putting them away, and when I wasn't getting ahead of guys, I was just giving up hits. I've got to do a better job than that."
Phelps has never faced the Pirates, but is 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in his last 12 starts in the Bronx.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will counter with righty Edinson Volquez, who is 1-3 with a 4.36 ERA. Volquez has dropped his last three decisions, but did not receive one on Saturday against St. Louis, despite an awful showing that saw him give up three runs and four hits with four walks over 4 2/3 innings.
Volquez beat the Yankees the only time he faced them.
Pittsburgh enters this series having lost three of four after dropping two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates dropped Thursday's rubber match with the Brewers in heartbreaking fashion, as Khris Davis' two-run single in the ninth carried Milwaukee to a 4-3 win.
Tony Sanchez cracked a two-run homer and Gaby Sanchez added a solo shot for the Pirates, who had won four in a row prior to this stretch.
Pittsburgh hasn't played the Yanks since taking two of three from them in the Steel City back in 2008. The Yankees, though, have won all six meetings between the teams in the Bronx.