American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, May 31st
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (33-22) at New York Yankees (30-23), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34)
New York - CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.96)
(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees have been held to just 10 runs over a
season-high five-game losing streak. That isn't exactly the kind of momentum
the club was looking for ahead of a big three-game series with the rival
Boston Red Sox, but perhaps the anticipated return of two key players will
The Yankees are likely to have Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back in the
lineup when they begin their set with the first-place Red Sox on Friday.
Teixeira was one of four high-priced offensive talents for New York to begin
the season on the disabled list, with an injured right wrist putting him on
the sidelines along with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson.
Jeter and Rodriguez have yet to play a game this season, while Granderson
missed the first 38 games with a fractured right wrist and appeared in just
eight contests before sustaining a fractured finger on his left hand.
Youkilis, who spent his first eight-plus seasons with the Red Sox before
getting dealt to the Chicago White Sox during the 2012 campaign, was signed to
hold down the third base spot while Rodriguez is out due to hip surgery but
went on the disabled list April 30 with a strained back.
Both could be activated prior to this game after completing two-game rehab
assignments on Thursday with Double-A Trenton. And while the duo won't be able
to single-handedly turn things around for the Yankees, getting the pair back
shouldn't hurt things either.
"I have a ton of confidence in our guys," said Teixeira on New York's website.
"We're going to turn it around. Every team has ups and down. Hopefully we'll
go on a winning streak."
New York's current slide includes getting swept by the New York Mets in a
four-game home-and-home set. The Yankees dropped a pair of 2-1 decisions at
Citi Field before losing two in a row in the Bronx.
The Yankees' offense managed only a solo homer by Robinson Cano off Mets'
starter Dillon Gee in Thursday's 3-1 loss. Gee entered the contest with a 6.34
earned run average, but gave up just four hits over 7 1/3 innings.
New York ranks 11th in the AL in both batting average and runs scored, and
will try to break out on Friday against Boston's John Lester, whose eight wins
over the Yankees since the start of the 2009 campaign are the most by a major
leaguer against the Bronx Bombers in that span.
The 29-year-old is 10-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 22 starts versus New York since the
start of the 2008 season and he is averaging 9.32 strikeouts per nine innings
in his career against the club. He beat the Yankees on April 1, allowing two
runs over five innings while striking out seven.
Lester is 6-1 with a 3.34 ERA through 11 starts this year but winless in his
past two. He had his season-opening win streak snapped with a loss at the
Chicago White Sox on May 20 and five days later the lefty did not factor into
a 7-4 win over Cleveland after giving up four runs over seven frames. The 10
hits allowed were the most in a start by Lester this year, but he also struck
out a season-high eight.
"I thought he was very powerful," said Boston manager John Farrell about
Lester. "He wasn't as sharp in the first three innings, but from the fourth
inning on he really settled in and pitched a very efficient game."
For the Yankees, CC Sabathia tries to win for the first time in six starts.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA during his winless stretch, though New
York has won all three of his no-decisions. That was not the case on Sunday in
Tampa as Sabathia was rocked for a season-high seven runs on eight hits over
seven innings. He allowed a pair of home runs to the Rays, falling to 4-4 on
the season with a 3.96 ERA through 11 starts.
"I'm hurting the team," Sabathia said on the Yankees' website. "I'm not
helping the team out. I just need to get better."
That could be tough against the Red Sox, who Sabathia is 8-10 against lifetime
with a 4.33 ERA. That includes a home loss to Boston and Lester on April 1,
when the 32-year-old gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks over five
innings. All four runs allowed came in the second inning on three run-scoring
The Red Sox are two games up on the second-place Yankees in the AL East and
have won five of seven and 11 of their last 16 games. They split their four-
game home-and-home set with the Phillies, taking a 9-2 victory in Philadelphia
Jacoby Ellsbury set a Red Sox single-game record with five stolen bases, going
3-for-4 with a walk at the plate. He leads the majors with 21 steals after
breaking his own club record that he shared with Jerry Remy.
"When I get to three or four, the game is usually out of hand, but I was able
to get an opportunity and it worked out in my favor," said Ellsbury. "To be
able to have the single-game record is really special and something that
doesn't happen very often."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three runs and David Ortiz hit a solo homer for
The Red Sox took two of three over the Yankees on the road to begin the
season, but New York won seven of the nine encounters in Boston a season ago.
05/31 10:27:39 ET
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