Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – Fans had to wait one extra day, but one of the greatest rivalries in professional sports history resumes Wednesday when the Boston Red Sox host the New York Yankees in the opener of a rain-shortened two-game set and the first of 19 renewals this season. The American League East Division combatants have each won 83 meetings over the last nine regular seasons with the teams alternating series victories over the past six years after splitting 18 encounters in each season from 2008-10.
“It’s always fun,” New York third baseman Chase Headley told reporters after the Yankees (11-7) lost 2-1 in Pittsburgh on Sunday. “There’s always a lot of energy in Boston. Obviously they’re going to be one of the teams we’re fighting all year with, so we’re looking forward to taking a breather (Monday) and getting back after it on (Wednesday).” New York’s Aaron Judge, a 6-7, 282-pound rookie, takes his first swings at Fenway Park’s fabled Green Monster after belting six home runs – some of the tape-measure variety – with 13 RBIs this season as one of the so-called Baby Bombers who have helped the Yankees get off to an encouraging start. Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who underwent an MRI on Monday, got an extra day to rest with Tuesday’s rain out and could make his return from a two-game absence after injuring his knee and ankle Friday, when Baltimore’s Manny Machado went into second base hard on a slide. Boston’s Rick Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, lost his last two starts and opposes Luis Severino, who struck out 21 over 15 innings in his last two turns.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, YES (New York), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Luis Severino (1-1, 4.05 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (1-2, 5.32)
Severino allowed four runs (three earned) and three hits while striking out 10 over a career-high eight innings of a 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox last Tuesday. The 23-year-old Dominican struck out 11 for the first of his two career double-digit strikeout games in seven innings of a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay on April 13. Severino is 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA in four games (three starts) versus Boston, including 0-2, 7.30 in three appearances (two starts) last season.
Porcello allowed three unearned runs, six hits, one walk and struck out five in seven innings of a 3-0 loss at Toronto on Wednesday. The 28-year-old New Jersey native, who went 22-4 last season, permitted eight runs in 4 1/3 frames of a 10-5 setback versus Tampa Bay on April 14. Porcello is 7-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts – 2-1, 2.05 in three turns last season – versus New York but struggles with Jacoby Ellsbury (12-for-31, four home runs).
1. The Red Sox are last in the major leagues with 11 home runs while the Yankees were tied for fifth entering Tuesday’s games with 26.
2. New York 1B Greg Bird (.104, one home run, two RBIs in 48 at-bats) went 0-for-11 in the three-game series with the Pirates and is 1-for-19 in his last six contests.
3. Boston OF Andrew Benintendi (.347, one home run, 11 RBIs) recorded a career-high five hits Sunday and has six multi-hit games in his last 12 contests.