The Yankees' lineup for tonight will include Marcus Thames. He'll start in leftfield in place of Brett Gardner and bat eighth against the lefty Jon Lester.

Thames, the Yankees' 899th pick in 1996, hit .257 with four homers in 105 at-bats against lefties last season. Overall, he batted .252 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs. His right-handed pull swing - and Fenway Park - could be a good counter to Lester's cutter. Thames is 1-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs in his career against the pitcher.

Curtis Granderson, who batted .183 against lefties last season, will start in ceterfield but drops to ninth in the lineup. He's never faced Lester.

Gardner was 2-for-4 on opening night and hit .291 in 55 at-bats against lefties last year, but Joe Girardi, we'd presume, wants to get a look at Thames and believes the matchup to be more favorable.

Robinson Cano and Nick Johnson, the other left-handed bats in the lineup, are 5-for-22 and 0-for-3, respectively, against Lester.
If you're wondering: Left-handed batters actually fared better than righties against Lester in 2009. Granted, it was less than half as many at-bats, but they hit .257 off him, compared to .237 by righties.

SS - Jeter
DH - Johnson
1B - Teixeira
3B - Rodriguez
2B - Cano
C - Posada
RF - Swisher
LF - Thames
CF - Granderson

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