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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 3 (All times Eastern)
New York Yankees (56-53) at Boston Red Sox (49-61), 8:00 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - David Phelps (5-5, 3.89) Boston - Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87)
(SportsNetwork.com) - In a prime-time showdown the rival Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will face off at Fenway Park on Sunday night.
These teams have split the first two games of this three-game set.
The Red Sox won Friday's bout 4-3 and had a 3-0 lead early on Saturday, but Boston starter Allen Webster could not hold the edge, walking six batters and allowing four runs over 2 2/3 innings of work.
"I felt good in the first two innings, really struggled with my release point in the third and never got it back," Webster admitted.
Derek Jeter went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI to lead the way for New York, which had lost five of its previous six games.
"You aren't always going to hit the ball hard, get a lot of hits or score a lot of runs," Jeter said. "When you do, hopefully it lasts for as long as possible. You can always feel like you have a hit streak coming, but you have to go out and do it."
On Saturday Yoenis Cespedes made his debut with Boston after coming over in Thursday's trade with Oakland that sent Jon Lester westward. The Cuban outfielder went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Mike Napoli went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI and Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt each had two hits in the losing effort.
Since winning four straight after the All-Star break, the Red Sox have dropped nine of 11.
Making his 17th start of the season for the Yankees on Sunday will be David Phelps.
Phelps has ben an extremely versatile pitcher for New York this season, filing in as a starter with injuries ravaging the rotation. Although originally in the bullpen, Phelps last 16 outings have been starts. As a starter he is 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA and as a reliever he has an ERA of 3.86. In total he is 5-5 with a 3.89 ERA in 25 total appearances.
Before facing Texas last Monday, Phelps had won his last four decisions. However, after allowing four runs in six innings against the Rangers the streak came to an end as the Yankees lost 4-2.
Phelps has faced Boston three times already this season, although all three of those appearances came in a relief role. He has pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings this season and 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 career chances versus the Red Sox.
Clay Buchholz suddenly finds himself the leader of the Red Sox staff, with Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront all sent away via trade in the last week.
Red Sox fans cannot feel too confident in Buchholz's abilities to anchor the rotation, considering he is just 5-7 with a 5.87 ERA this season, during which he has been hampered by injuries. The hope is that he will be able to recapture the dominant form he displayed last year when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in a season that was also shortened by injuries.
Since throwing a shutout against the Astros on July 13, Buchholz has been trending down, allowing 13 combined earned runs in his last three starts, including a season-high of seven last Monday against Toronto.
In his lone start against New York this season the right-hander allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits in six innings. He is now 5-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 13 career starts against the Yankees.
New York has a 7-5 edge in the season series with Boston.
08/03 10:36:16 ET