Jonny Gomes, Xander Boegarts in Lineup for Red Sox as CC Sabathia, Jon Lester Take Mound in Battle of Lefties

Jon LesterCC Sabathia vs. Jon Lester at Fenway Park on a Saturday afternoon in September would have at one time been a marquee matchup. Saturday’s game still may be a contest, but times have changed for Sabathia, Lester and their respective teams.

The Red Sox are rampaging to the American League East title while the Yankees are just holding on in the wild card race. While New York has shown ability to squeak out wins against other teams down the stretch, Boston has not helped its AL East rivals one bit when the teams meet head-to-head, and the Yankees are just trying to keep their heads above water at Fenway Park at this point.

The Red Sox also have a distinctive edge on the mound.

Lester (13-8, 3.86 ERA) hit a rough patch in the middle of this season, but he’s bounced back to his former self since. Starting with a seven-inning outing Aug. 8, he’s been one of the best in the Red Sox’ rotation, going at least six innings in each of his starts and not allowing more than three earned runs in any of them. His 2.97 ERA in August has only improved in September, where he has a 2.40 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.

Sabathia (13-12, 4.82), meanwhile, continues to look like a regressing former ace. He just hasn’t been able to get things to click this year, and save for one sharp May start, he’s been eaten alive by the Sox this year, giving up a 7.15 ERA in his four starts against them.

Right-handed batters Jonny Gomes and Xander Boegarts are in the lineup Saturday to try to continue the trend for the Red Sox. They’ll be joined by David Ross, who spells grand slam-popping Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The Yankees have slotted Alex Rodriguez at designated hitter, meaning Mark Reynolds will make a rare appearance at third base, with Lyle Overbay taking first. Youngster J.R. Murphy gets a chance behind the dish.

Here are Saturday’s complete lineups.

Boston Red Sox (90-59)

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
David Ross, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS

Jon Lester, LHP

New York Yankees (79-69)

Curtis Granderson, CF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Vernon Wells, RF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Brendan Ryan, SS
J.R. Murphy, C

CC Sabathia, LHP

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