The up-and-down Red Sox are down again. They will try to pick themselves back up Saturday when they take on the rival New York Yankees in the second of three straight at Fenway Park.
Following a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Sox opened a big set with the Yankees by dropping a 10-3 decision. Josh Beckett continued to struggle by giving up nine runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The loss dropped Boston back to .500 and a full six games behind New York in the American League East.
It doesn't get any easier for the Sox, who have to face lefty CC Sabathia on Saturday. Clay Buchholz goes for Boston.
WHEN AND WHERE
Yankees (20-8) vs. Red Sox (15-15) Saturday, May 8, 3 p.m. (FOX) Fenway Park, Boston
HEAD TO HEAD
The Yankees have won 12 of the last 14 meetings.
LHP CC Sabathia (4-1, 2.74 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (3-2, 2.97 ERA)
After two stellar starts, Buchholz had a slightly more uneven effort Monday against the Angels. Fortunately he received plenty of support.
In a 17-8 rout, Buchholz gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three career starts against the Yankees.
Sabathia is one of four Yankees starts to dominate opponents early on. He is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last four starts.
The big lefty's only poor outing came in the season opener April 4 at Fenway. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up five runs on six hits.
Derek Jeter, SS Brett Gardner, CF Mark Teixeira, 1B Alex Rodriguez, 3B Robinson Cano, DH Nick Swisher, RF Randy Winn, LF Francisco Cervelli, C Ramiro Pena, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS Dustin Pedroia, 2B Victor Martinez, C Kevin Youkilis, 1B Mike Lowell, DH J.D. Drew, RF Adrian Beltre, 3B Bill Hall, LF Darnell McDonald, CF
Right fielder J.D. Drew is 14-for-30 (.467) over his last eight games.
Josh Beckett on Friday became the first pitcher to have as many as nine runs, eight strikeouts and two hit batters in the same game since Jack Coombs did it with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1911.
David Ortiz and Mike Lowell have combined to go 10-for-26 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in the designated hitter role this month.
New York starters are 17-4 with a 3.15 ERA.
Right fielder Nick Swisher is 10-for-24 (.417) with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last six games.
Shortstop Derek Jeter is now in second place on the team's all-time list with 2,165 games played. He has also played 216 against the Red Sox, more than any active player.
BLACK AND BLUE
Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury took a day off Friday as he continues to recover from rib/chest injuries. He will resume activity Saturday.
Center fielder Mike Cameron, out with a sports hernia, may return to play in rehab games after the weekend, according to manager Terry Francona.
Righty Boof Bonser allowed a run in three innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.
Infielder Jed Lowrie has gained four pounds and is combining baseball-related activities with strength and conditioning this week for the first time since he came down with mono in March. Francona said he could be playing games again in about four weeks.
Second baseman Robinson Cano left Friday's game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee. He will be re-evaluated Saturday.
Designated hitter Nick Johnson was sent to New York for tests on his right wrist. He is expected to go on the DL.
Center fielder Curtis Granderson is on the DL with a strained left groin. He is expected to miss the rest of the month.
Catcher Jorge Posada has missed three straight games with a strained right calf. He remains day-to-day.
Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte left a start Wednesday after just 77 pitches with left elbow stiffness. An MRI showed some inflammation. The club will use caution as it approaches his next start, scheduled for Tuesday.
Reliever Chan Ho Park remains on the DL with a right hamstring injury.
It is amazing how quickly the highs of a four-game sweep can be washed away, but that's what happened Friday night when the Sox looked overmatched once again.
Another loss Saturday would be a damaging blow and would bury Boston even deeper in the AL East.
Clay Buchholz came through in a similar situation when the Sox needed him last week, putting together one of the best starts of his career. Now would be a great time for him to show up once again.