That's usually the case when he faces the Baltimore Orioles .
The veteran has won eight straight regular-season decisions against the Orioles and hasn't lost to them in the Bronx in over 14 years as he tries to help the Yankees complete a three-game sweep Sunday.
Pettitte (10-9, 4.05 ERA) has owned one of the highest opponent batting averages throughout this season, with a current mark of .288. He's limited hitters to a .221 average during this streak in which he has yielded four runs - one earned - over 19 2-3 innings after he was on course to finish with a losing record for the first time in his 18-year career.
"The biggest thing, like I said for several months, the pitches weren't doing what they're supposed to do," Pettitte said. "They're cooperating right now. Hopefully they'll cooperate the rest of the season."
Pettitte is 8-0 with a 2.99 ERA in his last 11 starts against the Orioles (71-63), not including a loss in Game 2 of last year's division series. He's 9-0 with a 2.44 ERA in his last 11 home starts against them since July 5, 1999.
The left-hander's 28 regular-season wins over the Orioles rank him second since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954. Fellow southpaw and former Yankees great Whitey Ford is first with 30.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter may want to bench J.J. Hardy, who is hitless in 13 at-bats and 2 for 23 overall including postseason against Pettitte.
Showalter will give Mike Morse his Orioles debut Sunday - the day rosters expand - after the slugger was acquired Friday from Seattle.
"We've got a lot of moving parts right now and hopefully Mike Morse will get a good night's sleep and be ready to start his career as an Oriole we hope," Showalter said.
New York (72-63) moved one-half game in front of Baltimore in the playoff race by winning 8-5 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday.
Orioles nemesis Robinson Cano is 4 for 7 with four RBIs and three runs scored in the series, returning in strong fashion after missing a game when he was hit by a pitch Tuesday in Toronto. Cano is hitting .365 with three homers and 10 RBIs in a season series even at seven wins apiece.
It's unclear if Alex Rodriguez will be in New York's lineup after he was scratched Saturday because of flulike symptoms. Former Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds moved from first to third base and Lyle Overbay played first.
The Yankees are 25-18 against left-handed starters as they face the first of four straight in Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.76), who is hoping to bounce back in September after going 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in five August outings.
Chen defeated Pettitte in that division series matchup last year by yielding two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2 home victory. He's 1-3 with a 5.10 ERA in five career regular-season outings against the Yankees, going 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in two on the road.
Major league home run leader Chris Davis is 5 for 14 with a homer overall against Pettitte, but 5 for 27 with one homer and 13 strikeouts in the Bronx this year.
|August 28, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist inflammation|
|August 16, 2013||Francisco Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Strained right groin|
|July 29, 2013||Jason Hammel||15-Day DL||Right forearm tenderness|
|July 14, 2013||Nolan Reimold||60-Day DL||Nerve inflammation in cervical spine|
|June 21, 2013||Michael Morse||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|June 20, 2013||Steve Pearce||15-Day DL||Left wrist tendinitis|
|New York Yankees|
|August 22, 2013||Jayson Nix||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|August 21, 2013||Jayson Nix||Day-to-Day||Broken left hand|
|August 03, 2013||Derek Jeter||15-Day DL||Strained right calf|
|August 03, 2013||Derek Jeter||15-Day DL||Strained right calf|
|July 27, 2013||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Strained right rotator cuff|
|July 23, 2013||Luis Cruz||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
NEW YORK (AP) -- A day after being shut out on three singles, J.J. Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles got blanked for six innings Sunday on what was shaping up as a lost weekend.
"We were a little flat. We could all see it, we could all feel it," Hardy said.
That all changed in a hurry.
Hardy and Adam Jones hit three-run homers during a seven-run burst in the seventh as Baltimore suddenly broke loose, jolting the New York Yankees 7-3 to avert a sweep in a matchup of wild-card contenders.
"Hopefully, it jump-starts us in September," Hardy said.
The Orioles rallied against Andy Pettitte and a faltering bullpen. Michael Morse lined a leadoff single to begin the comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Acquired from Seattle on Friday, he got two hits in his Baltimore debut.
"We just needed a little spark there," Morse said.
Hardy's shot against Shawn Kelley (4-2) glanced off the glove of right fielder Curtis Granderson and put the Orioles ahead 4-3. After reliever Boone Logan gave up a bunt single and walk, Jones homered to dead center field came against Joba Chamberlain .
"It was tough today. A chance for us to sweep and it is completely on me," Kelley said.
The seven runs matched the Orioles' biggest inning of the season. It also tied the most allowed by the Yankees in an inning this year.
"We needed it big," Jones said. "Things hadn't fallen into place."
The Orioles won for the second time in six games on a road trip that includes three more games at Cleveland.
The Yankees had beaten Baltimore two in row while extending their home winning streak to six. New York had been 32-0 at home this year when leading by at least two runs, the Elias Sports Bureau said in research provided by the Yankees.
Rookie Kevin Gausman (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings after starter Wei-Yin Chen walked a career-high five on a sticky afternoon. Gausman's other win came against the Yankees on June 28 with 4 1-3 scoreless innings.
Four Baltimore relievers combined for five shutout innings.
Brett Gardner doubled twice and drew a bases-loaded walk for the Yankees. But Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter each struck out three times and Alfonso Soriano was thrown out at first on a sensational play by charging third baseman Manny Machado .
Pettitte has beaten Baltimore 29 times in the regular season and playoffs, and seemed to be cruising through six innings. He had walked none, worked around five singles and wasn't in trouble.
But Morse and Danny Valencia opened the seventh with sharp singles, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the first of his several trips to the mound.
"Any time you turn to our bullpen, you feel good about it. It just didn't work out today," Pettitte said.
"They send you out there to get guys out and I gave up two hits that started a rally," he said. "You can't second-guess with our bullpen. We have the best bullpen in the league, in my opinion."
Not on this day, though.
Matt Wieters greeted Kelley with an RBI single. Hardy, who broke an 0-for-13 rut with an earlier single, hit the first pitch for his 24th home run. Granderson got his glove on the opposite-field drive as he ran back and reached above the wall.
"I couldn't tell the exact angle of where it landed, but I made a little bit of contact with the ball and a lot of contact with the wall," Granderson said. "It's not a routine play but a chance to make an exciting one."
Jones connected for his 28th homer.
Soriano hit an RBI single in the third. The Yankees scored two more in the fourth on Gardner's walk and a sacrifice fly by Jeter.
NOTES: Jeter moved past Bernie Williams for sixth on the Yankees' career RBIs list with 1,258. ... Baltimore is 8-7 against the Yankees this year. ... Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez returned after missing a day with flu-like symptoms. His sun shades fell off while he chased Valencia's early infield single ... Yankees RHP Phil Hughes (4-13, 4.91) pitches Monday at home against White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (7-4, 3.66). ... RHP Bud Norris (9-10, 4.13) starts for the Orioles on Monday at Cleveland against RHP Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.49). ... Former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt was joined by Girardi behind home plate for a pregame ceremony to raise awareness during World Alzheimer's Month. The record-breaking coach stepped down in April 2012 because of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.