The Red Sox' season comes to an end Sunday after they host the New York Yankees in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Boston is limping to the finish line with almost its entire Opening Night lineup no longer available. It has lost five in a row and will finish shy of 90 wins for the first time in five years and the second time in 11 years.
Meanwhile, the Yankees still have plenty to play for. They enter the day tied with Tampa Bay atop the American League East. The Rays own the tiebreaker so must win and hope for a Rays loss to claim the crown, otherwise they are wild-card bound.
WHEN AND WHERE
Yankees (95-66) at Red Sox (88-73) Sunday, Oct. 3, 1:35 p.m. NESN Fenway Park, Boston
HEAD TO HEAD
The Yankees own an 9-8 series advantage.
RHP Dustin Moseley (4-3, 4.77 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (13-11, 4.47 ERA)
An inconsistent first year in Boston has Lackey looking for a strong finish. He has allowed only three runs in 13 innings over his last two starts, striking out nine and walking two.
Lackey is 5-8 with a 4.57 ERA lifetime vs. the Yankees. One of those losses came Aug. 7 in New York, where he gave up five runs in six innings.
Moseley was announced as the starter after Saturday's doubleheader ended early Sunday morning. He is 2-0 with a 4.82 ERA vs. Boston.
Lineups will be posted approximately four hours before pitch.
Boston has lost eight of the last 11 seasons series with New York, tying two of the others.
Catcher Victor Martinez has hit safely in 15 straight home games, batting .379 (22-for-58) in that span.
Outfielder Ryan Kalish has seven stolen bases since Sept. 6. No other Red Sox player has more than nine with the team all year.
Right-hander Kerry Wood's consecutive scoreless streak of 21 came to an end in the first game Saturday.
Outfielder Brett Gardner is 4-for-5 with three walks against Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.
New York is 25-2 in games in which Robinson Cano homers.
BLACK AND BLUE
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had season-ending surgery Sept. 3 on his broken left foot. He is expected to be fully healed for spring training.
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs) will not resume any baseball-related activities until after the season ends.
Center fielder Mike Cameron had season-ending surgery to repair an abdominal tear.
First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Left-hander Felix Doubront has pain behind his left clavicle. He will not pitch again this season but hopes to throw a bullpen session before the regular season ends.
Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
Designated hitter Nick Johnson is out for the year with an inflamed right wrist tendon.
Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will not return due to a strained lower back.
Left-hander Damaso Marte is on the 60-day DL with left shoulder inflammation.
It all comes down to this. Unfortunately it only means something to one team. Time for the Red Sox to play the ultimate spoiler.