Previewing Friday's Pirates-Yankees game
The new Yankee Stadium has ranked as one of the 10 most-HR-prone parks every season since it opened in 2009, according to ESPN's park factors. The park features a short right-field porch, which makes it an ideal setting for Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker, who entered Thursday tied for the Pirates' lead with eight home runs each.
• Edinson Volquez will have one advantage working for him Friday: the element of the unknown. Volquez has made just one career start against the Yankees. Carlos Beltran leads the Yankees with 17 career at-bats vs. Volquez. Only three Yankees have more than 10 at-bats against Volquez. Volquez's walk rate has improved in 2014 under Ray Searage, who has worked with Volquez on creating a more-efficient path to home plate, but he walked four in his last start against the Cardinals.
• The Pirates last played at the Yankees on June 8-10, 2007, when they were swept in a three-game series.