Red Sox-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have yet to end their woes against the

Boston Red Sox and might not have Mark Teixeira’s help during their

next attempt.

The slugger’s status is unknown for Wednesday night when the

Yankees try to avoid giving up first place to their AL East

rivals.

New York’s 6-4 defeat in Tuesday’s series opener was its sixth

in seven games with Boston this season, and the Yankees suffered

another loss in the first inning of that contest.

With his team trailing 3-0, Teixeira was hit on the right knee

by a pitch from Jon Lester and left the game. Subsequent X-rays,

however, were negative and the first baseman, who has a team-best

18 homers and 41 RBIs, will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

“He’ll be day to day. Will he play tomorrow? I doubt it,”

manager Joe Girardi said. “It’ll take a couple of days,

probably.”

Teixeira’s replacement, the struggling Jorge Posada, had a

season-high three hits and an RBI in the ninth inning. The Yankees,

though, couldn’t get any more as Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon earned

his 200th save in a major league-record 359 appearances – 23 fewer

than New York closer Mariano Rivera.

“The No. 1 thing I’m trying to do is go back and be sharp, get

confidence back under my belt. So it’s a big deal,” said Papelbon,

who is playing during his appeal of a three-game suspension for

making contact with an umpire.

Despite the loss, New York (33-25) remained percentage points

ahead of the Red Sox (34-26), who seek a fifth straight win overall

and 10th in 12 road games Wednesday.

Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40 ERA) will try to continue his recent

resurgence. The veteran knuckleballer is 2-0 with a 3.20 ERA since

returning to the rotation May 22 but missed out on a win Wednesday

when he gave up four runs over his final three frames to the

Chicago White Sox.

He’s 2-0 in his last four starts against the Yankees despite a

4.71 ERA. Wakefield gave up five runs over five innings to New York

on Oct. 2 and did not get a decision in a 6-5 defeat.

A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.86) is also seeking a third straight win as

well as his first over the Red Sox in a Yankee uniform. He earned

his previous victory against Boston on Sept. 13, 2008, while with

Toronto.

The right-hander, though, appears poised to end that drought as

he’s given up less than three runs in consecutive starts for the

first time this season. He allowed only a two-run homer over seven

innings Wednesday against Oakland to claim his first win in 11 road

starts.

Burnett yielded three hits and struck out five in that outing

but hasn’t been nearly as successful in recent matchups with

Boston, going 0-3 with a 7.59 ERA in his last eight. He faced the

Red Sox one other time at the new Yankee Stadium and pitched a

one-hitter over 7 2-3 innings on Aug. 7, 2009.

To produce a similar outing Wednesday, he might have to be

careful with David Ortiz. The Red Sox slugger is batting .414 over

his last 18 games and hit his seventh home run during that span in

Tuesday’s victory, Boston’s seventh in its last eight at the new

Yankee Stadium.

Ortiz is hitting .310 against New York this season and has

homered in each of the past two matchups. He’s 10 for 39 (.256)

with three homers and 12 strikeouts in his career versus

Burnett.

Derek Jeter, meanwhile, has gotten 31 of his 2,988 career hits

against Wakefield, his most against one pitcher. Alex Rodriguez has

also hit seven home runs off him, the most the right-hander has

allowed to any active hitter.