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Interleague Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, May 18th (All times Eastern)

Cincinnati Reds (19-18) at New York Yankees (20-18), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Cincinnati - Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 3.25) New York Yankees - Andy Pettitte (0-1, 5.68)

(Sports Network) - A quick dip into interleague play is coming at the perfect time for the Yankees.

Hoping to avoid a season-high fourth straight defeat, New York and its major- league leading interleague record turns to Andy Pettitte in the opener of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.

New York went 13-5 versus the National League last season and is 157-109 (.595) in interleague play since it began in 1997.

The Yankees are hoping that success continues tonight -- though they are just 4-5 all-time versus the Reds in interleague play -- after losing both contests of a two-game series in Toronto to stretch their skid to three straight contests. It is New York's third three-game slide and it hasn't lost four in a row since closing out the 2011 regular season with four consecutive defeats.

The Yanks dropped Thursday's game versus the Blue Jays 4-1. Robinson Cano drove in the lone run and Phil Hughes allowed two runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings.

"It was a struggle, it was a battle, and I had to grind it out and just try to keep it somewhat close so we could come back," said Hughes of the loss. "It just wasn't in the cards."

New York now turns to Pettitte, who makes his second start since re-joining the club after retiring following the 2010 season.

Pettitte signed a minor league contract in Spring Training and made his season debut on Sunday versus Seattle. The three-time All-Star did come away with a loss, giving up four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, and was touched for a pair of two-run homers.

"I felt good. I did," said Pettitte. "I didn't really know what to expect. I envisioned what I wanted to feel like out there and I'll tell you, it came back really quick."

"He was pretty good," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "You look through the first five innings and he only really gave up one hard-hit ball and got a ton of ground ball outs. He used all his pitches. To get us into the seventh inning, that's pretty good."

The 39-year-old lefty went 11-3 with a 3.28 earned run average in 21 starts in 2010 and is 4-3 in 10 all-time starts versus the Reds with a 3.64 ERA.

Taking the hill for the Reds will be Bronson Arroyo, who is coming off his worst performance of 2012.

The 35-year-old righty matched a season high with four runs allowed on Sunday versus the Nationals, giving up 11 hits over five innings of a no-decision. He is 2-1 with a 3.25 ERA in seven starts this year.

Arroyo, set to make the 299th start of his career tonight, has faced the Yankees eight times -- six starts -- without a decision, posting a 5.45 ERA.

The Reds had won three of four prior to Thursday's 9-4 loss to the Mets. Cincinnati scored the game's first four runs, getting a solo homer from Joey Votto in the fourth inning, but saw New York finally go ahead for good with a five-run eighth.

Logan Ondrusek suffered the loss after giving up five runs on four hits and a walk in the eighth inning. Starter Mat Latos struck out seven and allowed three runs on seven hits over his five-plus innings of work.

"It's something that's going to happen," Ondrusek said. "I have to bear down next time and do a better job and not give up five."

The Reds went just 6-12 versus the American League last season, dropping two of three at home to the Yankees. Cincinnati is making its first trip to new Yankees Stadium, having not played in the Bronx since 2008.

05/18 10:54:33 ET