Though the New York Yankees have drawn criticism for the lack of youth on their roster, many of the club’s aging stars came through in a big way Saturday.
They’ll try to help New York wrap up its seventh series victory at Fenway Park in nine tries Sunday against the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees (56-53) had dropped five of six prior to Saturday’s 6-4 victory. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran – who are a combined 111 years old with 49 seasons of experience – were each 2 for 5 and drove in a total of four runs.
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Teixeira, who hit his 19th homer, has three home runs in his last six matchups with the Red Sox and 17 RBIs in his last 10 games at Boston. Beltran is 15 for 34 during a nine-game hitting streak overall with 10 RBIs in his last 10 against the Red Sox, while Jeter is batting .375 over his last 16 at Fenway.
Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87 ERA) will look to keep that trio in check, though he has a 7.94 ERA in three starts since his lone complete game of the season at Houston on July 13. He surrendered a season-worst seven runs along with seven hits over five innings in a 14-1 loss to Toronto on Monday.
The right-hander walked the leadoff batter in three innings and issued four walks for the second straight outing while falling to 2-4 with a 7.07 ERA in eight starts at Fenway.
"Last two times out, there was a willingness to try to use his curveball and his changeup a little bit too much – and it resulted in some walks," manager John Farrell told MLB’s official website. "We’re looking forward to him getting back to what I think will be a normal Clay Buchholz-type approach."
Though Buchholz is 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his last four matchups with the Yankees, he wasn’t very good in the only one this year as he allowed four runs – two earned – and seven hits over six innings in a 4-1 road loss April 10.
While Jeter is 8 for 26 lifetime versus Buchholz and Beltran is 1 for 3, Teixeira is hitless in his last 12 at-bats against him.
The Red Sox (49-61) have dropped nine of 11 while averaging 2.4 runs. Yoenis Cespedes singled in his club debut but couldn’t pull Boston out of its offensive slump, going 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position.
Deadline acquisitions Stephen Drew and Martin Prado each had a hit for the Yankees. Prado made his first career start in right field after playing two innings there off the bench Friday. Prior to that, Prado had logged two career innings in right.
Playing Prado there helps manager Joe Girardi continue to use Beltran at designated hitter as he deals with a bone spur in his right elbow.
"It’s been a while since I’ve played right field, but I told (the Yankees) that I’m open for it – to help my teammates, help my team win games," Prado said. "Whatever I have to do, I will prepare myself for any challenge to help the team win."
New York will give the nod to David Phelps (5-5, 3.89), who had a 2.96 ERA during an eight-start unbeaten streak prior to giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings of a 4-2 defeat at Texas on Monday.
He didn’t allow an earned run in 4 2-3 innings of relief versus Boston this year and is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox, all in 2012.
Dustin Pedroia is 6 for 17 off Phelps with three doubles while Mike Napoli is 3 for 7 with two doubles and a home run.