Daric Barton, who manager Bob Geren said has been "pounding it out every day" in the heat of Texas and New York, received his first off day since Aug. 9, when he rested to nurse shoulder spasms. Jeff Larish, batting 7-for-25 on the club's road swing, was given a start at first base in Barton's stead and represented the only left-handed hitter for the afternoon affair.
Thus, Rajai Davis was lifted from the bottom half of the lineup and inserted into the No. 2 spot -- where he's hit .375 in three starts this season -- behind Coco Crisp.
Kurt Suzuki, a career .360 hitter against the Yankees, served as the club's designated hitter while Landon Powell received his 25th start behind the plate and eighth alongside batterymate Dallas Braden. The duo is 4-3 with a 2.33 ERA in four complete games, two of them shutouts. Braden, meanwhile, happens to be 5-6 with a 3.80 ERA in his other 16 starts.
But Geren insisted Thursday's pairing was nothing more than a result of giving Suzuki's legs some rest for a day game following a night game while also including another right-hander in the lineup.
"CC's obviously tough against both sides," Geren said, "but there's a slight advantage to being right-handed."