MLB

Yankees-Royals Preview

Until Masahiro Tanaka returns, the New York Yankees are hoping they have enough depth in their rotation to withstand another injury.

Chris Capuano will try to provide the Yankees a boost in his return from the disabled list Sunday against the Kansas City Royals.

New York (22-16) put a third starting pitcher on the DL with Chase Whitley suffering a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament Thursday, which might require Tommy John surgery. Ivan Nova is still recovering from that procedure, and Tanaka is trying to work his way back from an ailing right arm.

"It's not what you want, obviously," manager Joe Girardi told MLB's official website. "You've got to deal with it. It's all over the game. That's what it is. As an organization, you try to prepare the best way you can by having depth. With some of the guys going down, we have guys coming back."

CC Sabathia provided just the kind of performance New York needed to end a season-worst four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory Saturday. Chase Headley hit a three-run homer while sending the Royals (23-14) to a third loss in eight games and Alex Rodriguez added his 664th home run - his fourth in nine games.

Capuano will try to follow that up with his own strong showing in his return from a strained right quad, an injury suffered in spring training. The left-hander went 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 12 starts for the Yankees in 2014 after being released by Boston, signed to a minor league deal by Colorado, then traded to New York on July 24.

"He's a guy that should be able to give us 90 pitches," Girardi said. "That's usually what he's going to give us anyway. I think I would watch when he has to cover first because that's how (the injury) happened."

Capuano will face Kansas City for the first time in his 11 seasons, and Sunday's game will give him at least one start against every major league team.

He'll pitch opposite Edinson Volquez (2-3, 3.19 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in three starts this month after going 2-2 with a 1.91 ERA in four April outings. The right-hander gave up four runs in five-plus innings Tuesday in a 7-6, 10-inning win at Texas, his first game since dealing with a blister on his right thumb May 7.

Volquez is facing New York exactly one year after giving up a career-high four homers and five runs in 6 1-3 innings in a 7-1 loss at Yankee Stadium for Pittsburgh. Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira were among the Yankees to homer off him.

Omar Infante is one of two healthy Royals regulars to have faced Capuano, going 7 for 18 with two homers. Kendrys Morales, who had a 10-game hitting streak end Saturday, is 0 for 3.

New York's Carlos Beltran is 11 for 29 with two homers and seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak, raising his average 46 points to .233. He is 6 for 17 lifetime against Volquez.

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