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Kings of Interleague, Yanks primed for more

The Yankees own baseball's all-time best Interleague record, and they will be hoping that their first look of the year at the National League helps to continue that trend of winning baseball this weekend.

Since the advent of Interleague Play in 1997, the Yankees have compiled a record of 157-109 (.595) against NL clubs -- four victories better than the second-place Chicago White Sox.

The Yankees were 13-5 last year in Interleague, tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for baseball's best record. New York first welcomes the Cincinnati Reds to town for a three-game series, which could prove to wake up what has been a feast-or-famine Yankees offense thus far.

"Pitchers on the other teams have jobs to do, too," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "We'd like to come out and score a lot of runs every day, but it's not always going to be the case. Obviously, we're a whole lot better when up and down the lineup we're swinging well."

After playing this weekend's three-game series against Cincinnati, the Yankees will return to American League ball until June 8-10, when the Mets roll across borough lines and visit Yankee Stadium for the first installment of this year's Subway Series.

The Yankees will then make their second regular-season visit to Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, from June 11-13 to kick off a home-and-home series with their opponent from the 1996 and '99 World Series.

The Yanks will make their first visit to Washington's Nationals Park for a weekend stay in the nation's capital from June 15-17, then head back to the Bronx as the Braves come in for a June 18-20 series.

Interleague Play concludes for the Yankees from June 22-24, as they make a weekend visit to Citi Field -- the site of the 2013 All-Star Game -- for the second half of the Subway Series, an event that still breaks through with both hype and excitement.

Players to watch
Derek Jeter, SS (.333, 31 HR, 115 RBI): The captain's 326 hits still stand as the most in Interleague Play, despite the fact he missed most of the festivities last year due to injury.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.316, 48 HR, 186 RBI): A-Rod's RBI total is the most all time in Interleague Play. He batted .406 (26-for-64) against NL clubs last season.
Andy Pettitte, LHP (18-16, 4.30 ERA): Pettitte's Interleague numbers would be even better if not for the three seasons he spent in the National League with the Astros, when he was winless in seven Interleague starts, taking five losses.
CC Sabathia, LHP (20-7, 3.43 ERA): Sabathia has cleaned up in Interleague Play, particularly as a member of the Yankees, with whom he is 8-1 against NL clubs. Sabathia owns two big league home runs but has yet to connect for a long ball with the Yankees, having gone just 2-for-12 at the plate with the Bombers.

"I think it's been good for baseball," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Interleague Play. "I think it's brought a lot of excitement to cities, cities that don't normally get to see players [and] superstars. And overall, I think it's been a success."

Last year: The Yankees cleaned up in Interleague Play, winning 13 of their 18 contests and taking each series, including a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

All-time: New York's all-time Interleague record of 157-109 is the best in the game, and the Yankees have posted a winning record against NL clubs in each season since 1999, when they were 9-9.

vs. Reds, May 18-20: Buy tickets
The Yankees won two of three from manager Dusty Baker's club in 2011, meeting for the third time in Interleague Play to reprise the 1939, '61 and '76 Fall Classics. New York is 4-5 all time against the Reds, who are visiting the new Yankee Stadium for the first time.

vs. Mets, June 8-10: Buy tickets
The Subway Series has been a staple of Interleague Play since 1997. The Yankees won four of six from the Mets last season, including two of three at Yankee Stadium. Not including the 2000 World Series, the Yankees were 20-13 against the Mets at the old Yankee Stadium. They have continued that trend at the new park, winning six of nine meetings thus far.

at Braves, June 11-13: Buy tickets
The Yankees will make their first visit to Turner Field since 2009, when general manager Brian Cashman angrily addressed the slumping club in a moment that was a turning point toward their World Series triumph. The Yankees are 12-10 all time against Atlanta in Interleague Play and 6-2 at Turner Field.

at Nationals, June 15-17: Buy tickets
Nationals Park is a new destination for the Yankees, who were 1-2 in a 2006 visit to RFK Stadium. The Yankees are 2-4 all time against the Nationals, having last played them in '09 at Yankee Stadium, but New York is 11-10 all time against the franchise if statistics including the Montreal Expos are factored in. David Cone's July 18, 1999, perfect game stands tall as a series highlight.

vs. Braves, June 18-20: Buy tickets
The Yankees and Braves have history that dates back before the 1996 and '99 Fall Classics; Casey Stengel also had to contend with the Braves -- then playing in Milwaukee -- as opponents in the '57 and '58 tilts. The Braves were 6-8 in Interleague Play at old Yankee Stadium and are making their first visit to the Bronx.

at Mets, June 22-24: Buy tickets
Derek Jeter always loves hitting against the Mets, owning a .381 average against them coming into this season. Though he wasn't sorry to see Shea Stadium go, Jeter made some good memories there. The Yankees have gone 23-19 all time in Flushing, including a 6-3 record at Citi Field.

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia