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05/21/08 12:20 AM ET

Yanks look to Rasner to give 'pen break

New York (20-25) vs. Baltimore (24-20), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET

NEW YORK -- Considering that the Yankees' bullpen had to patch together 8 1/3 innings of relief on Tuesday night, starting pitching will be critical when they face the Orioles again on Wednesday. Yet the Yankees can't be quite sure what they're going to get. Their starter, Darrell Rasner, hasn't pitched in 11 days.

"He seems to roll with the punches pretty well," manager Joe Girardi said. "He just seems to want to take his opportunity when it rises. He doesn't really think, 'Oh, I need to be on the schedule.' He's always ready to pitch. I don't think it will bother him."

Rasner last pitched against the Tigers, holding them two runs in six innings and proving that his season debut, six days earlier against the Mariners, was no fluke. But when Friday's game against the Mets was postponed due to rain, the Yankees skipped Rasner's turn in the rotation to keep their other starters on regular rest.

Available for relief duty over the weekend, Rasner instead threw only bullpen sessions. So perhaps he'll be fresh. Or perhaps he'll be rusty.

"I'm not concerned about it," Rasner said. "If I hadn't been throwing yet, it would be tough -- but I think it will be fine."

Even more vexing, the Yankees may be without Derek Jeter, who is day-to-day with a contusion of his left wrist. Jeter left Tuesday's game after Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera hit him on the wrist in the third inning.

They could use the offense Jeter provides. Over their last seven games, the Yankees have averaged two runs.

They'll look to change that trend against Orioles starter Garrett Olson, a rookie with precisely 11 career starts under his belt. Considering how they struggled on Tuesday night -- losing, 12-2 -- the Yankees will certainly welcome the opportunity.

"The sun will come up tomorrow, and the great thing is you get to go right back out there," Girardi said after Tuesday's game. "If we didn't get to play for a week, it would probably be a lot harder. But we've got a chance to go right back out there [Wednesday], and play like a good ballclub."

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Darrell Rasner (2-0, 3.00 ERA)
Rasner will try for his third victory in three starts. He last started on May 10 in Detroit and hurled six innings of two-run, four-hit ball, again giving up a first-inning homer, but settling in to retire 16 of his final 20 faced. The 27-year-old has allowed two runs or less in each of his seven starts this season, including the Minors. He is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in two career starts against Baltimore, allowing 10 runs on 13 hits in 6 2/3 innings.

BAL: LHP Garrett Olson (3-0, 3.47 ERA)
Olson won his first three decisions and has looked much more comfortable than he did in last season's seven-game audition. Olson, who finished third in the International League in ERA last season, has laid claim to Adam Loewen's vacant rotation slot. When Loewen returns, the Orioles may have a decision or two to make.

Yankees third-base coach Bobby Meacham was absent on Tuesday, attending his son's high school graduation. First-base coach Tony Pena switched over to third, and batting practice pitcher Mitch Seone took Pena's spot at first. Meacham will also miss Wednesday's game. ... Catcher Jorge Posada played catch again on Tuesday, rehabbing from right rotator cuff tendinitis. He could begin to play in rehab games toward the end of next week. ... Girardi said he expected only Ross Ohlendorf to be unavailable out of the bullpen on Wednesday. ... Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis is 5-for-5 with a double in his career off Rasner.

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Up next
• Thursday: Yankees (Ian Kennedy, 0-3, 8.48) vs. Orioles (Brian Burres, 4-4, 3.47), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 3-5, 4.42) vs. Mariners (Erik Bedard, 3-2, 3.24), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, 6-2, 3.51) vs. Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 2-4, 3.34), 1:05 p.m. ET

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.