Game 124: Yankees at Red Sox - Now it's a rivalry with some juice

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

The rivalry continues, this time with a little bit more juice behind it (pun intended).

Alex Rodriguez makes his first appearance at Fenway Park since the Biogenesis allegations and MLB suspension/appeal. He’ll be greeted cordially by the Fenway Faithful. Nothing to see here.

The Boston Red Sox (72-51) try to turn around their recent woes with a quick three-game home stand against the New York Yankees (62-58), who come in hot having won five of their last seven games. Felix Doubront, who only went four innings in his last start due to a high pitch count, starts for the Red Sox. He is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA this season and has a career 2.36 ERA against New York in 10 games (six starts). Doubront has not given up more than two runs in any of the 10 appearances and has gone at least six innings in each of his six starts.

In his last start, Doubront allowed three earned runs, marking the 16th straight start he has given up three or less. That ties the Red Sox longest single-season streak by a left-handed pitcher. The only other Red Sox player to do so? Babe Ruth in 1916.

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox (first pitch – 7:10 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Gomes, LF
6. Drew, SS
7. Napoli, 1B
8. Saltalamacchia, C
9. Middlebrooks, 3B

Doubront, P

Andy Pettitte makes his 42nd career appearance against Boston. He has a 19-11 record with a 3.87 ERA against the Red Sox. However, he has had back-to-back outings of less than five innings, most recently against Detroit on Sunday when he threw 101 pitches and didn’t make it through the fifth.

Good to be home
Fenway Park has been kind to the Red Sox this year, with Boston boasting a 39-21 home record. After the 4-6 road trip, the Sox dropped to 33-30 on the road. It will be a quick trip home, as Boston plays three against the Yankees before heading west for six games against two National League foes, the Giants and Dodgers.

About those Yankees
Alfonso Soriano is tearing it up at the plate for New York. Prior to his arrival, the Yankees had two home runs by right-handed hitters in two months. Soriano has seven homers and 22 RBI in 18 games. In his last three games, Soriano went 10-for-14 with four homers, 14 RBI and seven runs scored against the Angels Ichiro Suzuki is in search of his 4,000th career hit. Ichiro has 3,994 hits, including 1,278 that he accumulated during his nine-year career in Japan. Only two Major League players in history have over 4,000 hits: Pete Rose (4,256) and Ty Cobb (4,191) … To add to their power prowess, the Yankees reached an agreement with Mark Reynolds recently. Reynolds had 15 home runs and 48 RBI with the Indians, who designated him for assignment last week … The aforementioned A-Rod is batting .278 with one home run and four RBI in his first nine games … Robinson Cano has reached base safely in 13 of the last 16 games and went 7-for-9 in his last two games. When he connects with his next homer, it will be his 200th of his career.

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