Game 11: Red Sox at Yankees - Aces in play as Boston looks to get even
Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer
It wasn't quite the start to the rivalry series Boston had hoped for, but one game does not define a season. With that in mind, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees square off for Game 2 of this four-game series in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees took Game 1 behind a strong pitching performance for Michael Pineda - and yes, we realize "pine" is in his name.
Moving on to the next one is the phrase you'll hear often in baseball clubhouses. Tonight, a pair of aces take the ball for their respective teams. For Boston (4-6) , that's Jon Lester. The lefty hasn't posted a win in either of his two starts, despite a 2.51 ERA and two outings that each went at least seven innings. Lester has struck out 14 batters with just two walks in 14 1/3 innings pitched. His downfall has been his team's inability to drive in runs.
Here's the Red Sox lineup tonight (first pitch - 7:05 pm ET): 1) Gomes, RF 2) Pedroia, 2B 3) Ortiz, DH 4) Napoli, 1B 5) Sizemore, LF 6) Bogaerts, SS 7) Roberts, 3B 8) Ross, C 9) Bradley Jr., CF
The ace on the hill for New York (5-5) hasn't been much an ace by pitching standards lately, moreso by the fact that he's lined up as first in the rotation. That would be C.C. Sabathia, who was 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA in 2013 and is off to a 1-1 start with a 7.50 ERA through two starts this season. He has allowed 10 earned runs in 12 innings, along with three home runs already. However, he's only walked one batter and struck out 12, so the command seems to be there.
Ross behind the dish David Ross will catch Lester tonight, a changeup of sorts. Mostly, Ross' right-handed bat and 6-for-18 with two home runs against Sabathia are the reasons why he's in. John Farrell hopes he continues that success and maintains Lester's strong start to the season.
Nava finds his stroke
Although he's batting just .139, Daniel Nava kept swinging away. Thursday night, he crushed a solo home run in the seventh inning. This gives reason to believe he'll get find his groove real soon, but that won't be tonight with a lefty on the mound.
This and that David Ortiz has reached safely in all 23 games he's played against New York since the start of the 2012 season ... Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0-for-2 but walked in his first at-bat Thursday. It was his fourth straight plate appearance with a walk. His OBP is now .462 ... Boston went 7-2 against New York in the Bronx in 2013. Overall, the Sox were 13-6 against the Yanks ... Thursday's lost dropped Boston into last place in the AL East. However, the Red Sox are one game out of first.
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