Boston at NY Yankees
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
NEW YORK – The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees resume their heated rivalry Tuesday with the first of three games at Yankee Stadium and their proximity in the standings only adds fuel to the always-burning fire. First-place Boston (25-9) leads New York (24-10) by one game in the American League East, but the Yankees have won 18 of their last 21 contests since losing two of three at Fenway Park from April 10-12.
New York’s victory in the middle contest of that series was marred by a bench-clearing brawl which resulted in the Red Sox’s Joe Kelly and the Yankees’ Tyler Austin getting suspended six and four games, respectively, for their roles in the melee. “Look, Red Sox-Yankees is always big, and obviously they’re a great team,” New York manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “So we understand there will be a lot of excitement around it. There will be more eyes on this one and that’s what you love about being a part of this.” Boston burst out the gate with victories in 17 of its first 19 games but the Yankees seem unbeatable at the moment with a six-game winning streak and a 15-1 mark in their last 16 contests while winning nine straight at home – matching the longest streak at the new Yankee Stadium. New York’s Luis Severino is coming off his first career shutout and opposes Drew Pomeranz, who won his last start for his first victory of the season in three turns.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 6.14 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (5-1, 2.11)
Pomeranz allowed three runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings of a 5-4 victory over Kansas City on Wednesday. It was a step forward for the 29-year-old Tennessean, who yielded seven runs in 8 2/3 innings over his first two starts of the season since recovering from a forearm injury suffered in spring training. Gary Sanchez is 8-for-18 with three home runs versus Pomeranz, who is 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) versus New York and 3-2, 3.12 ERA in five appearances at Yankee Stadium.
Severino scattered five hits and a walk while striking out a season-high 10 in a 4-0 victory at Houston on Wednesday that was also his fourth consecutive quality start. “I think I’ve grown up as a pitcher,” the 24-year-old Dominican told reporters. “When I needed to throw a good pitch, it used to be a fastball to everybody. When I need to throw a slider on a 3-2 count, now I can throw it.” Andrew Benintendi (.244, one home run this season) is 8-for-16 with two home runs and nine RBIs versus Severino, who is 2-5 with a 4.82 ERA in nine games (eight starts) versus Boston after permitting five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 14-1 loss at Fenway Park on April 10.
1. Boston RF Mookie Betts, who entered Monday leading the majors in home runs (13), runs (36) and batting average (.355), is expected to play after leaving Sunday’s game in Texas when he was hit in the shoulder by a thrown ball running the bases.
2. Sanchez is hitting .198, but his nine home runs and 28 RBIs are each second on the club to SS Didi Gregorius (10, 30).
3. The Red Sox began their 10-game road trip by winning the last three contests of a four-game set with the Rangers over the weekend.