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07/24/07 12:29 AM ET

Elarton makes return from DL

Kansas City (43-55) vs. New York (52-46), Tues., 7:10 p.m. CT

It's been a rough season for Scott Elarton. But in his first start back from the disabled list, he'll face a team he has always pitched well against Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

It's the Yankees. The same Yankees that have won four straight games, scored 58 runs in the last five contests and haven't lost a series since dropping two straight to Oakland from June 30-July 1.

But Elarton can't wait. He is 3-0 with a 4.85 ERA in four career starts versus the Bronx Bombers.

"I feel positive and am looking forward to [Tuesday]," he said.

Elarton made his return from shoulder surgery in mid-May but struggled with command and control in his eight outings. He didn't throw a quality start and delivered a 2-3 record and 9.17 ERA before going on the disabled list shortly after taking the defeat against the Cardinals on June 13.

Finally healthy and feeling his best "in a long time," Elarton and the Royals hope he can regain the same form that produced strong performances in the first half of the 2006 season.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Scott Elarton (2-3, 9.17 ERA)
Elarton returns from the DL (sprained right foot) to make his ninth start of the season. He didn't fare well in five rehab outings -- yielding 21 runs over 26 2/3 innings -- but manager Buddy Bell believes Elarton is the most logical choice to make the start. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched for Kansas City since June 13.

NYY: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (10-5, 3.44 ERA)
Wang was sharp through six innings against Toronto on Thursday, keeping the Blue Jays without a hit until the fourth frame and scoreless until the seventh. The right-hander's only trouble came after he was hit by a grounder near his left ankle in the seventh -- he then allowed three runs before he was lifted from the game. In his 7 1/3 innings, Wang was good for 89 pitches -- 60 of them strikes -- allowing seven hits, walking none and striking out three.

Player to watch
Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is on the cusp of 500 career homers and carries excellent career numbers against Elarton. In 13 at-bats, he has a .583 average, three homers and seven RBIs.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Royals (Gil Meche, 7-6, 3.63) vs. Yankees (Mike Mussina, 4-7, 4.97), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Royals (Jorge De La Rosa, 7-10, 5.61) vs. Yankees (Kei Igawa, 2-2, 6.67), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Royals (Brian Bannister, 6-6, 3.68) vs. Rangers (Jamey Wright, 3-2, 4.15), 7:10 p.m. CT

Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.