Slade Heathcott will make his first big-league start tonight against the Rangers

Slade Heathcott

Slade Heathcott

The Yankees will play their first game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers tonight at Yankee Stadium. The game will start at approximately 7:05 p.m.

The Yankees will be starting the same lineup that they did on Wednesday except that Slade Heathcott, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton when Jacoby Ellsbury went on the disabled list, will get the start instead of Chris Young.

This will be Heathcott’s first career big-league start and he will be getting his first career at-bat. Slade, whose first name is Zachary, hit .285 with one homer, 17 RBIs and five steals in 37 games at Triple-A.

It’s surreal,” said Heathcott, who will bat ninth and play center field Friday night. “It’s a childhood dream to play in the big leagues and to start, and here I am getting to do it in pinstripes — it doesn’t get any better.”

Joe Girardi said that he wants Heathcott to take quality at-bats and play solid defense during his time with the Yankees. He will be able to play much better defense in right field than Carlos Beltran, which will probably lead to Beltran getting the day off on Saturday or Sunday.

Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees on Friday night. He will need to bounce back from his previous start when he had his worst outing of his great season. In his start on May 15 against the Royals he allowed five runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings while only striking out one. His slider was off against the Royals, which prevented him from striking out batters like he did against the Baltimore Orioles when he had 16.

He is the ace of the pitching staff right now and the Yankees need him to pitch like he has for most of the season. Nick Martinez, who played second base and pitched at Fordham, will get a start in this series and will be back playing in the Bronx for the second time. He threw 5.1 shutout innings during his previous start at Yankee Stadium.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series at Yankee Stadium:

Tonight
RHP Michael Pineda (5-1, 3.31)
vs.
RHP Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.06)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

Saturday
LHP CC Sabathia (2-5, 4.67)
vs.
RHP Nick Martinez (3-0, 1.88)
1:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network

Sunday
LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 12.00)
vs.
RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-6, 4.26)
8:05 p.m., ESPN

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