The Yankees and Angels have split the first two games of the series, with the Angels logging a 4-1 victory on Monday and the Yankees responding with a 4-3 win Tuesday.
In addition to the series finale settling the series, Wednesday will also mark Derek Jeter's final regular-season game at Angel Stadium, and the Angels plan to hold a pregame ceremony to honor the retiring Yankees captain, who has been cheered loudly throughout the first two games.
"It's been special," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "I think it's the loudest reaction he's gotten anywhere we've been except home. I thought it showed a lot of respect for what he's done in the game from the baseball fans here in this area."
Over his years in the big leagues, Jeter has played the equivalent of a full season against the Angels, appearing in his 166th career game on Tuesday.
Assuming he is in the lineup on Wednesday, it will mark Jeter's 81st career game at Angel Stadium, a place where he has batted .338 (112-for-331) with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs. The Yankees and Angels met for two series in the postseason during Jeter's career, and he also played in the 2010 All-Star Game at Angel Stadium.
"We've had some exciting series here; some good, some bad," Jeter said. "Anaheim is one of those teams you sort of use as a measuring stick, because they've had a lot of success throughout the years, and they always seemed like they played us tough.
"It's been a lot of fun being able to come here and play."
The Angels will give the ball to left-hander Hector Santiago, whose numbers (0-5, 5.01 ERA) look awful, but he's been really unlucky. Santiago has the fifth-lowest run support in the Majors (2.17 per start), and five of his 18 earned runs have come off an Angels reliever.
"An 0-5 start was definitely not what I was expecting," Santiago said. "But who knows? Maybe I'll go 12-5 by going on a little 12-game winning streak right here. It can easily turn around, and you won't even remember that it was 0-5. Just go out there and pitch, and it's going to turn around soon."
The Yankees will counter with left-hander Vidal Nuno, who grew up down the coast in the San Diego suburb of National City, Calif. Nuno is making his fourth start and seventh appearance of the season as he continues in the rotation slot once held by Ivan Nova, who was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery.
Angels: Smith temporarily out of action
Angels sidearmer Joe Smith is nursing some tightness in his lower right side, an injury he doesn't deem serious, but one that made him unavailable on Tuesday and could also keep him out of action on Wednesday.
Smith, who's 3-for-3 in save opportunities and has a 2.77 ERA in 14 appearances, hopes to return by Friday at the latest. In the meantime, Frieri likely will handle the ninth.
"I'm not worried about it," Smith said of the injury. "It's just sore. I didn't feel anything pop or tear or anything like that. I'm not expecting it to be more than a couple-days thing."
Yankees: Roberts feeling good, grateful
Missing 445 games over the last four seasons due to injuries has a way of making you appreciate the little things, like being able to stay on the field and count on seeing your name in the lineup. At least, that's how it has been for Brian Roberts.
Roberts slugged a go-ahead, ninth-inning home run -- his first as a Bomber -- off Halos reliever Ernesto Frieri to boost New York to Tuesday's victory.
"It's great. I can't put into words, really, how tough those couple years were for me to not be on the field," Roberts said. "And there were things that went beyond just not being on the field; life in general was tough for a while with my concussion stuff.
"For the Yankees to give me an opportunity to come here and say that they really wanted me to play often, as much as I could, that was a huge step for them to go out on a limb a little bit."
• The Angels are 2-8 in one-run games and have led at some point in 12 of their 16 losses, the highest percent of losses with blown leads in the Majors. They're 26-14 in their last 40 games vs. the Yankees at Angel Stadium, dating to 2005.
• Albert Pujols extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 2-for-4 performance on Tuesday. Pujols is batting .385 (10-for-26) during the streak, and Tuesday marked his 11th multihit game of the stretch.
• Mike Trout snapped an 0-for-12 streak with an eighth-inning triple off Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday. Trout thus avoided going hitless for a fourth consecutive game, something that he has done only once in his career.
• Yankees starting pitchers have walked just 39 batters all season, the lowest total amongst starting staffs in the Majors.