A critical 10-game homestand was expected to tell the tale if the New York Yankees would be buyers or sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. The Yankees have received positive results thus far and will vie for their fourth straight win and sixth in eight outings on Wednesday when they play the third contest of a four-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles.

Starlin Castro homered and drove in four runs in Tuesday’s 7-1 triumph to improve to 5-for-11 during New York’s winning streak. The 26-year-old Dominican has turned it up a notch when facing Wednesday starter Yovani Gallardo, against whom he is batting .390 in his career. While the Yankees ignited their offense to move within 6 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Orioles, the latter has failed to find a spark of late by mustering just four runs and 17 hits total during its three-game losing streak. J.J. Hardy is 0-for-6 in this series but could get untracked against struggling Michael Pineda, versus whom he is 7-for-15 with three homers and four RBIs in his career.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.77 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Michael Pineda (3-9, 5.56)

Gallardo received his third straight no-decision on Friday after allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings against Tampa Bay. The 30-year-old saw his pitch count elevate after issuing four walks for the second straight outing and 20 over his last six. Gallardo owns a 1-1 career mark versus the Yankees with a 5.60 ERA as he’s allowed 11 runs on 17 hits in 17 2/3 innings.

Pineda permitted five earned runs in each of his last two outings and is 0-3 with a 4.46 ERA in his last six starts, but the 27-year-old Dominican will receive the call on Wednesday due to a lack of options, manager Joe Girardi said. Pineda was taken deep three times versus Boston on Friday and has allowed 18 homers in as many starts this season. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reported the Marlins were interested in dealing for Pineda, who told NJ.com, “I love my team. I want to stay here and help my team win.”


1. Baltimore RF Mark Trumbo is 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in his last three contests on the heels of a 10-game hitting streak.

2. New York LF Brett Gardner is 6-for-16 with a homer and two runs scored in his last four contests.

3. Orioles OF Joey Rickard is 4-for-10 with an RBI double in his last three games.

PREDICTION: Orioles 5, Yankees 4