The Red Sox began their crucial four-game series in New York in fine fashion. The test gets a bit tougher on Saturday when they face CC Sabathia in an afternoon affair at Yankee Stadium.
Boston pulled to within five games of the Yankees with a 6-3 victory in the opener. Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings and rookie Ryan Kalish smacked his first career home run.
It was the eighth win in 11 games for the Sox and their fourth consecutive victory away from home.
John Lackey, coming off a rough outing vs. Cleveland five days ago, opposes Sabathia.
WHEN AND WHERE
Red Sox (63-47) at Yankees (67-41) Saturday, August 7, 4:10 p.m. Yankee Stadium, New York
HEAD TO HEAD
The Yankees lead the season series 5-4.
RHP John Lackey (10-6, 4.48 ERA) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (13-5, 3.19 ERA)
Lackey gave up six runs on nine hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings against the Indians his last time out. Despite the rocky start, he is still 1-1 with a 3.25 ERA since the All-Star break.
In his only start against the Yankees this year, back on April 7, Lackey threw six shutout innings. He did not get a decision.
Sabathia is undefeated in his last 17 starts at Yankee Stadium and has absolutely owned the Red Sox in New York. In three career starts vs. Boston in the Bronx, he has yielded just seven hits and one earned run, going 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA in that span.
The big lefty has dropped two straight decisions after a personal nine-game winning streak.
Marco Scutaro, SS Jed Lowrie, 2B David Ortiz, DH Victor Martinez, C Adrian Beltre, 3B Mike Lowell, 1B J.D. Drew, RF Bill Hall, LF Darnell McDonald, CF
Derek Jeter, SS Nick Swisher, RF Mark Teixeira, 1B Alex Rodriguez, 3B Robinson Cano, 2BF Jorge Posada, C Lance Berkman, DH Curtis Granderson, CF Brett Gardner, LF
Third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting .340 (17-for-50) during a 12-game hitting streak.
Designated hitter David Ortiz has four home runs in his last six road games.
Right-hander Clay Buchholz has held opponents to three earned runs or less in 16 of 19 starts this season.
Shortstop Derek Jeter is tied with Babe Ruth for 39th on the all-time hits list with 2,873.
First baseman Mark Teixeira has reached base in 50 of his last 52 games.
New York has hit a two-run homer in the first inning of each of their last four games.
BLACK AND BLUE
First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery Friday to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Left-hander Hideki Okajima was placed on the DL on Friday with a right hamstring strain.
Center fielder Mike Cameron is on the DL with a lower abdominal strain. He’s taking precaution with his return and is trying to rest as much as possible.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (broken left foot) did some light running at Yankee Stadium on Friday. He remains roughly seven to 10 days away.
Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) did some very light jogging Wednesday. He remains weeks behind Pedroia.
Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
Left-hander Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session Friday. The 38-year-old lefty hasn’t pitched since July 18 due to a groin injury.
Right-handed reliever Alfredo Aceves has been on the DL since May 12 with a lower back strain.
Left-handed reliever Damaso Marte has been on the DL since July 17 with shoulder inflammation.
Designated hitter Nick Johnson has been on the DL since early May with a sprained wrist. He’s likely to miss the remainder of the season.
The win Friday felt great for the Red Sox. Another on Saturday could potentially alter the series in a dramatic way. After Sabathia, the Yankees are forced to throw struggling righty A.J. Burnett on Sunday and Dustin Moseley, Pettitte’s fill-in, on Monday.