Boston Red Sox at NY Yankees
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, May 31, 2019
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BRONX – The New York Yankees are sitting atop the American League East and have won eight consecutive series as they prepare to square off with their most bitter rival for the second time this season. After rain washed out Thursday’s scheduled series opener, New York opens a three-game set against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit each smacked their 14th home runs as the Yankees coasted to a 7-0 victory over San Diego in Wednesday’s rubber match of a three-game set to win for the 18th time in 23 games. New York went deep four times despite the absence of top power threat Gary Sanchez, who on Tuesday matched Mickey Mantle for the most home runs (17) by a Yankee in his first 37 games of the season. The Red Sox arrived at Yankee Stadium on a low note following back-to-back losses to Cleveland, blowing a three-run ninth-inning lead Tuesday before they were pounded 14-9 on Wednesday. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts has multiple hits in seven of his last 10 games after going 6-for-14 with a homer, four RBIs and six runs scored in the series versus the Indians.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), WPIX (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (1-6, 4.19 ERA) vs. Yankees LH J.A. Happ (4-3, 5.09)
Sale opened the season by losing his first four starts — and the fourth was a rocky performance at Yankee Stadium in which he gave up four runs on seven hits over five innings. The 6-foot-6 fireballer earned his first win on May 3 with a 10-strikeout performance, the first of four consecutive starts during which he registered double-digit whiffs before taking the loss at Houston last time out. Sanchez is 3-for-20 with eight strikeouts versus Sale, who allowed one run in winning both starts versus New York last year.
Happ ran his winning streak to three last time out at Kansas City, notching a season-high 10 strikeouts and yielding three runs and four hits over six innings. The 36-year-old has had trouble keeping the ball in the park, surrendering five home runs over his last three turns and 14 on the season, including a pair in a no-decision against Boston on April 17. Happ was 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts versus Boston in 2018 but he must be wary of Steve Pearce, who is 11-for-35 with six homers and 16 RBIs against him.
- Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers enters the series on a 10-game hitting streak.
- Yankees RF Clint Frazier was 4-for-8 with a homer and two RBIs in a two-game sweep of the Red Sox in mid-April.
- Thursday’s game will be made up on Aug. 3 as part of a doubleheader.