American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 8th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (87-57) at New York Yankees (75-67), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (13-8, 3.88) New York - Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99)
(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox hope to deliver what could be the final blow to the New York Yankees' postseason hopes on Sunday when they try to complete a four-game sweep of their bitter rivals at Yankee Stadium.
And to make matters worse for New York it may have to play Sunday's finale without captain Derek Jeter, who left Saturday's 13-9 loss because manager Joe Girardi said he "didn't like the way he was running."
However, a precautionary CT scan on Jeter's surgically repaired left ankle came back negative. Still, the results will be sent to Dr. Robert Anderson -- the Charlotte, N.C., based physician who performed Jeter's ankle surgery in October -- as an extra precaution.
"It's not what you want," Girardi said on Saturday. "It's what we've had to deal with a lot this year. Hopefully he's OK tomorrow and he can play or somehow contribute."
The Red Sox added to the Yankees' misery on Saturday, as Jonny Gomes finished 3-for-4 with a three-run blast and four RBI in the Red Sox' win. The Yankees are 2 1/2 games off the final wild card spot in the AL.
Boston has taken 10 of 15 from the Yanks this season, including seven of nine at Yankee Stadium. The AL East leaders have racked up 34 runs in this set, having increased their output in each successive contest.
Backed by that prolific offense, John Lackey (9-12) picked up the win despite allowing eight hits and seven runs over 5 2/3 innings.
"Yeah, the boys picked me up today. They swung the bats great. They've swung the bats great the whole series," Lackey said. "It's fun to watch when they get on a roll like that."
Despite Saturday's attempted comeback from a 10-2 deficit, New York became the first club in AL history to score eight-or-more runs in three straight home games and lose each one.
In his first start of 2013, David Huff (2-1) was torched in defeat for eight hits and nine runs over 3 1/3 frames.
"It was terrible. To come off what I've been doing here and to have that happen today, it was just embarrassing," said Huff, who only surrendered two earned runs over 16 innings previously as a reliever.
Getting the call for the Red Sox on Sunday will be lefty Jon Lester, who has won three of his last four starts. Lester beat the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, holding them to a run in seven innings, as he ran his record to 13-8 to go along with a 3.88 ERA.
Just more than a month after his ERA was 4.52, Lester has now gone six straight games in which he's allowed three earned runs or fewer -- a streak he's only beaten once, a nine-game stretch of brilliance in 2009.
He's posted a 1.71 ERA in that span and hasn't allowed a home run.
"I'm in a better spot right now as far as going down the mound," Lester said, "which puts me in a better position for that pitch. I think maybe taking a break from it for a little bit helped me, trying not to pound my head against the wall with it. It's been good the last three, four, five starts, so, keep grinding it out."
Lester is 10-5 lifetime versus the Yankees with a 4.14 ERA in 24 starts.
New York, meanwhile, turns to the struggling Hiroki Kuroda, who has lost his last three decisions. Kuroda did not get a decision on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, but was not sharp and surrendered four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 frames of a 6-4 win.
Kuroda, who is 11-10 on the year, has given up 23 runs over his last 23 innings and raised his ERA from 2.33 to 2.99.
"I thought his stuff was better tonight," Girardi said. "The top of the order has been tough on him, and they were tough on him again tonight. But I thought his stuff was better, and that's a good sign for me."
09/08 10:28:06 ET