Yankees-Red Sox Preview
The New York Yankees ended a seven-game losing streak to the
Boston Red Sox by posting their season-high eighth straight victory
overall to gain sole possession of the AL East lead.
Now it’s up to major league wins leader CC Sabathia to help them
extend that advantage.
It won’t be easy for the Yankees ace since he has lost all three
previous 2011 starts against the Red Sox heading into Saturday’s
matchup at Fenway Park.
New York (69-42) rallied for a 3-2 victory Friday to take a
one-game lead in the East, gaining sole possession of the lead for
the first time since July 6. The Yankees had lost eight of their
first nine meetings with the Red Sox (68-43).
“They are human,” right fielder Nick Swisher said. “They can be
beat. It was a big lift for us.”
Boston hasn’t been beatable this year for Sabathia (16-5, 2.55
ERA), who is seeking to become the first to 17 wins. Sabathia has
posted a 6.16 ERA versus the Red Sox in 2011, compared to his 2.11
ERA against everyone else.
Dustin Pedroia is 5 for 7 against Sabathia this year and Jacoby
Ellsbury 3 for 6.
Pedroia is hitting .398 and Ellsbury .366 since the start of
July, combining for 38 extra-base hits – the most by two teammates
in that span. Pedroia is also batting .471 against the Yankees this
season and Ellsbury .368.
“I think it’s the speed at the top, with Ellsbury and Pedroia,
and you’ve got (Carl) Crawford in there with the heavy hitters,”
Sabathia told MLB.com. “You don’t want to let those guys get on and
start causing havoc on the bases.”
Since his last outing against Boston on June 9, Sabathia has
gone 9-1 with a 1.76 ERA over 10 starts. He allowed two runs over
eight innings Monday in a 3-2 win over the White Sox.
Sabathia, 6-0 with a 1.37 ERA in seven daytime starts, has
pitched at least seven innings in each of his last 10 outings
overall – the longest such stretch by a Yankee since Jack McDowell
The Yankees, who are a major league-best 31-7 in day games, last
won nine straight May 13-21, 2009.
Boston is seeking to avoid its first three-game slide since
dropping four straight June 21-25.
“They had been playing well, and they had some motivation to
beat us,” Crawford said. “(The race) is probably going to be close.
A photo finish.”
The Yankees got 4 1-3 scoreless innings Friday from a bullpen
that has produced an AL-best 3.00 ERA. Their relievers have yielded
one run in their last 23 road innings, striking out 27 while
Left-handed reliever Boone Logan won Friday, striking out Adrian
Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning with Boston
The Red Sox will start John Lackey (9-8, 6.23), who is 4-0 with
a 3.41 ERA in his last five. Opponents are still batting .299
against him in that stretch, and he gave up five runs over 6 2-3
innings in Monday’s 9-6 loss to Cleveland.
The veteran right-hander is facing the Yankees for the second
time this year after allowing six runs over five innings in a 9-6
win April 8. Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada are each hitting .333