The Sox, who entered the series throwing Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first game and Clay Buchholz in the second game, have altered their plans quite a bit. Tim Wakefield will throw the opener of the twinbill in place of Buchholz, who was scratched with lower back pain, and Matsuzaka will pitch in the nightcap.
The Yankees will stay in line with Andy Pettitte in the afternoon and A.J. Burnett at night.
New York enters one-half game ahead of Tampa Bay in the American League East race. Boston enters needing a sweep of the three-game weekend series in order to reach 90 wins for the fourth straight year.
Prior to Saturday's game the Sox will honor the retiring Mike Lowell as part of "Thanks, Mike Night" at the park.
Yankees (94-65) at Red Sox (87-72)
Saturday, Oct. 2, 4:10 p.m. & 9:05 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston
The Yankees own an 8-7 series advantage.
LHP Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.17 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (4-10, 5.20 ERA), Game One
Wakefield will be called upon to make his 19th start of the season after Buchholz suffered a lower back strain throwing a side session Friday. The 44-year-old Wakefield is 4-9 with a 3.08 ERA as a starter, the last being a win in a five-inning effort against Tampa Bay on Sept. 8.
The knuckleballer has allowed one run in 9 1/3 innings of relief against the Yankees this year.
Pettitte will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list. He had a gem in Baltimore and then was knocked around by the Sox a week ago in Yankee Stadium.
In just 3 1/3 innings vs. Boston, Pettitte surrendered seven runs — six earned — and was on the losing end of a 10-8 slugfest. He is 18-10 lifetime against the Red Sox.
RHP A.J. Burnett (10-15, 5.33 ERA) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-6, 4.72 ERA), Game Two
Facing the Yankees on Sunday night in New York, Matsuzaka had his best start in nearly two months, allowing two runs on four hits in eight innings. Unfortunately, both runs came on a two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez in the seventh, a shot which gave the Yanks the lead.
Matsuzaka has just one win in his last eight starts. His last win at home came Aug. 5 vs. Cleveland. The righty is 3-3 with a 5.70 ERA vs. New York in his career.
Burnett's wildly inconsistent campaign continued six days ago when he gave up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings against Toronto. He is 3-8 with a 6.19 ERA since the All-Star break and the Red Sox are not the best opponent to help him break out of it.
The 33-year-old Burnett is 0-3 with a 9.40 ERA against Boston since he joined the Yankees before the 2009 season.
|Darnell McDonald, CF
Led Lowrie, SS
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Lowell, 1B
Bill Hall, RF
Daniel Nava, LF
Yamaico Navarro, 2B
Felipe Lopez, 3B
There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance surrounding Lowell's tribute and other end-of-year events and promotions. There will be plenty of sunshine after a miserable Friday night. And there will be plenty of baseball for those still starved for a bit of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
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