NY Yankees at Boston Red Sox
When: 8:05 PM ET, Sunday, September 8, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox have not been able to use a starting pitcher through the first two games of their series against the rival New York Yankees and staying in the American League wild card race without all their arms healthy is proving to be a challenge. The Red Sox will try to take the lead in the four-game set when they finally trot out a starting pitcher in Rick Porcello tonight.
Boston is missing left-handers David Price (wrist) and Chris Sale (elbow), and is still working right-hander Nathan Eovaldi’s innings up, leaving the rotation thin and forcing the team to rely on a bullpen that grew considerably when rosters expanded Sept. 1 – a strategy that worked in Friday’s opener but not so much in Saturday’s 5-1 setback. The Red Sox’s loss dropped them seven games behind the Oakland Athletics in the race for the second wild card with 20 games remaining.
The Yankees (93-50) continue to cruise toward the postseason and own an 8 1/2-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the East, making the race with the West’s Houston Astros (93-50) for the No. 1 seed in the AL the big battle down the stretch. New York sends right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to the mound on Sunday while Boston goes for length out of Porcello.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (10-8, 4.42 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (12-11, 5.63)
Tanaka was a tough-luck loser against Texas on Monday, when he allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings but came out on the wrong end of a 7-0 final. The Japan native surrendered two or fewer runs in four of his last five outings and completed six innings in each of those five turns. Tanaka was not sharp at Boston on July 25, when he was ripped for 12 runs on as many hits in 3 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Porcello failed to complete six innings in any of his last three turns and was knocked around for six runs on eight hits (two homers) in four innings of a loss against Minnesota on Tuesday. The New Jersey native is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and is set to record an ERA of more than 5.00 for the first time in his career. Porcello was on the other end of Tanaka’s tough outing July 25 and earned a win over New York while yielding three runs in six frames.
- Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts recorded his 1,000th career hit Saturday, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the mark before age 27.
- Yankees CF Aaron Hicks (elbow) suffered a setback in his recovery and could miss the rest of the season.
- New York 3B Gio Urshela (groin) is expected to be available Sunday.