Alex Rodriguez Batting Fifth As Felix Doubront, Red Sox Welcome Yankees to Fenway Park

Alex RodriguezFriday night promises to be fraught with action as Alex Rodriguez returns to Fenway Park. But for anyone just looking for good baseball, a promising battle between lefties is on tap, too.

The Red Sox and Yankees are opening their three-game series with two southpaws on the mound: veteran Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.62 ERA) for New York and second-year hurler Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66) for Boston. Aside from drawing out the usual right-handed lineups, the matchup also carries some symbolism for how the year has gone for both sides. The Yankees will look to a veteran to pull out some magic while the Red Sox will ride a young arm who has really hit his stride this season.

Mike Napoli is back in the lineup for the Red Sox after a day off. He’s looking to finally shake his slump after finding his stroke Wednesday with a powerful home run that almost got the job done for the Sox. Jonny Gomes’ right-handed bat will also join the lineup.

For the Yankees, Rodriguez is again the main draw. He’s at Fenway for the first time since returning to baseball after a long layoff due to offseason hip surgery. It’s also his first time back since he was suspended 211 games for his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, a suspension he is now appealing. Red Sox fans, who have long enjoyed giving Rodriguez a hard time, will get their chance Friday night.

Here are the rest of Friday night’s lineups for the Red Sox and Yankees.

Red Sox (72-51)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Felix Doubront, P

Yankees (62-58)

Brett Gardner, CF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Vernon Wells, DH
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Chris Stewart, C

Andy Pettitte, P

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