Boston Red Sox at NY Yankees
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
BRONX, NYC – The Boston Red Sox will take a one-game lead in the American League East into a much-anticipated three-game series with the host New York Yankees that begins on Friday. The Red Sox belted nine home runs while sweeping a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, which was capped by Thursday’s 4-2 triumph that completed a 5-1 homestand.
Boston has split its first six games with the rival Yankees as the teams have spent every day since the beginning of May within 2 1/2 games of one another atop the division. The Yankees were blanked twice during a 2-4 road trip that concluded with a 3-0 setback in the finale of a three-game interleague series in Philadelphia. Slugger Aaron Judge was given the day off and should be well-rested as he looks to continue his assault on the Red Sox, against whom he is 11-for-21 with two homers this year. Judge is 0-for-4 but has drawn four walks against Eduardo Rodriguez, who will try to match his career high in wins when he gets the start opposite the veteran CC Sabathia.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2, 3.86 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.18)
Rodriguez’s six-game winning streak came to an end with a clunker against Seattle at home on Sunday, when he was reached for five runs – four earned – in four innings. He has gone 4-0 with a 3.57 ERA in six road start after registering eight strikeouts over five scoreless frames at Yankee Stadium on May 10. The 25-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 career outings versus New York.
Sabathia has dropped back-to-back starts for only the second time since the beginning of the 2017 season, although he has let up just four earned runs in 13 innings during the stretch. The 37-year-old worked a season low-tying four frames opposite Rodriguez on May 10 as he gave up four runs and nine hits. Mookie Betts is 10-for-24 with four walks against Sabathia, who owns a 2.74 ERA in eight home starts this year.
1. Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. has gone 8-for-14 with two homers over his last four games to raise his batting average from .178 to .202.
2. Boston reportedly acquired 1B/OF Steve Pearce and cash from Toronto on Thursday for INF Santiago Espinal.
3. New York’s bullpen has posted a 0.90 ERA this month while allowing 38 hits in 80 innings.