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SEA@NYY: Pettitte makes his 2012 debut with Yankees

Andy Pettitte's second start on his comeback tour should draw a little less attention than the first one, a four-run, 6 1/3-inning loss to the Mariners on Sunday.

"I was just able to settle in and get into a decent rhythm, and I felt just really comfortable out there," Pettitte said. "I thought it would feel a little awkward, and another part of me thought, 'OK, you've prepared for this, you know what it's going to feel like.'"

The Yankees and Reds open their respective Interleague schedules against each other with a three-game series in New York.

Pettitte has 10 career starts against Cincinnati, courtesy of his time with the Astros in the National League Central, and he's done well against the Reds. In 10 starts, he's 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA and just three home runs allowed in 59 1/3 innings.

Bronson Arroyo, the Reds' starter, is no stranger to pitching against the Yankees from his days with the Red Sox. The righty has no record in six starts and eight appearances lifetime against New York, with a 5.45 ERA.

With the designated hitter in play at an American League park, the Reds will turn to struggling outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

"We need him," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's my DH in two out of those three games, at least."

Ludwick is hitting .183, with three home runs, 12 RBIs and 25 strikeouts in 82 at-bats.

"Sometimes there are good starts, fair starts and poor starts," Baker said. "I know he's better than he's shown, better than he's playing. The only way to come out of it is to play. We can only play three outfielders at a time.

"I know everybody wants me to play the guy who's hot, but what happens when the guy who's hot gets cold and the cold guy never gets lukewarm because he's not playing?"

Reds: Strong for much of season, bullpen falters
Cincinnati entered Thursday with the best National League bullpen ERA (2.28), opponent's batting average (.211) and the most strikeouts (132).

The Reds were shaky in a 9-4 loss to the Mets, though, as Logan Ondrusek allowed five earned runs after Aroldis Chapman was charged with a blown save after allowing one unearned run.

Yankees: Nova hopes to start Saturday
Ivan Nova expects to make his next start in the Bronx against the Reds on Saturday. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has a more cautious outlook on his 25-year-old.

"We aren't going to really know until we see how he feels tomorrow," Girardi said.

Girardi still considers Nova a game-time decision for Saturday, but all indications are he will be ready.

Worth noting
• The Reds are 5-4 all-time vs the Yankees in three Interleague series, including 1-2 at Great American Ball Park in 2011, 2-1 there in '03 and 2-1 in the final season of old Yankee Stadium in '08. This weekend's visit to the Bronx is the Reds' first to the Yanks' new ballpark.

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