© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
PrintPrint

08/14/10 9:11 PM ET

Bullington looks to make name for himself

Yankees starter A.J. Burnett has a proven track record. Royals starter Bryan Bullington wants one and is off and running toward that goal.

On Sunday, the two will square off in hopes of building on what each has already accomplished this season.

On your mark, get set ... pitch.

Burnett showed no ill effects from back spasms in Tuesday's start in Texas, limiting the Rangers to three runs on six hits in a seven-inning no-decision. Afterward, the veteran said he was pleased with his ability to "pitch," rather than just rear back and throw.

As for Bullington, he is making his second start for Brian Bannister, who's adjusting his mechanics. Bullington, in his first big league start since 2008, did well last Tuesday against the Angels, giving up three runs in six innings on five hits and a walk.

"He kept us in the game, kept the ball down, stayed on the attack," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Before when he was here, he was behind in the count possibly, struggled to get the ball down, but he did that really well in his last start. He really got after them and gave us a shot to win the ballgame, and I'll give him another chance."

In other words, the Royals like what they see from Bullington.

"That's why we backed [Brian Bannister] up another start and just give him a chance to keep working and give Bully a little bit of a shot," Yost said. "The next six weeks is kind of that opportunity anyway, so we'll give him another shot at it."

The Yankees have won two of the three games in the series and Bullington is not frightened by New York's powerful lineup.

"You've got to make pitches, you've got to have a game plan and be able to follow through and not miss your spots," he said. "Or they'll make you pay, that's for sure."

And no, he does not have a special plan of attack for Alex Rodriguez, who belted three homers Saturday, and Derek Jeter.

"I think in this lineup there's not too many weak spots in it, so you've got to be locked in from the first pitch to the last," Bullington said. "There aren't any at-bats or pitches that you can take off -- you've got to stay focused. Try to execute every pitch, be aggressive, go after them and see what happens."

Yankees: Another milestone for Jeter
Jeter tied Zack Wheat for 36th place all-time in hits with 2,884 hits when he singled in the third inning Saturday. Jeter has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games and is hitting .328 during that stretch. ... Rodriguez has 53 RBIs in 46 games played since June 21. Rodriguez is three RBIs shy of his 13th consecutive 100 RBI season and from becoming the first player with 14 career seasons of 100 or more RBIs. ... After right-hander Alfredo Aceves (lower back stiffness) threw 26 pitches for Double-A Trenton on Friday, the hurler has been slated to go again on Tuesday, scheduled to pitch three innings or 40 pitches. ... Damaso Marte (left shoulder inflammation) is with the Yankees in Kansas City and will pitch from a half-mound Sunday.

Royals: Tejeda eyes September return
Right-hander Robinson Tejeda, out with a right biceps tendon strain, was eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday, but he's not expected back until September. ... Wilson Betemit is now batting .440 (11-for-25) against the Yankees this year. He is also 22-for-52 (.423) in 18 games at Kauffman Stadium this season.

Worth noting
Since becoming the Royals' full-time closer on July 31, 2007, Joakim Soria has converted 111 of 120 save opportunities for a 92.5 success rate -- second in that period only to the Yankees' Mariano Rivera (94.5 percent). ... The Yankees are being recognized with an award for answering President Barack Obama's national call to serve initiative, honoring the organization's efforts with the upcoming HOPE Week.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


MLB.com