Game 12: Red Sox at Yankees - Boston bats look to back Lackey in matinée game

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

Johnny Gomes and Grady Sizemore provided the power, as the Boston Red Sox evened this four-game series with the New York Yankees at one game apiece. Neither, however, is in today's lineup. Manager John Farrell is shaking things up once again.

The Red Sox (5-6) look to gain an edge with John Lackey on the mound. Lackey has been arguably the Sox best pitcher in the early going. He's 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA, has 11 strikeouts to just three walks, and given up two earned runs and eight hits in 13 innings. All four of Lackey's starts against New York in 2013 came after the All-Star Break. Boston was 3-1 in those games. Red Sox Nation has changed its tune on Lackey, going from loathe to love. They'll love him even more in Boston if he can get off to a 3-0 start with a win against the Yankees today.

Here's the Red Sox lineup for this afternoon's game (first pitch - 1:05 pm ET):

1) Pedroia, 2B
2) Nava, RF
3) Ortiz, DH
4) Napoli, 1B
5) Carp, LF
6) Bogaerts, SS
7) Pierzynski, C
8) Herrera, 3B
9) Bradley Jr., CF

Lackey, P

Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Yankees (5-6). Kuroda is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA, having allowed just two runs in each of his starts. The Red Sox fared well against Kuroda last season, posting a 4-2 record in games started by him (Kuroda was 1-4). However, Kuroda gave up three earned runs or less in five of those six starts.

Pedey to the top
Dustin Pedroia becomes the fourth different leadoff man for the Red Sox through 12 games this season. Pedey batted leadoff 11 times in 2013, hitting .327 with an .835 OPS. He is 0 for his last 10 at-bats and just 2 for his last 22. He's batting .240 for the season.

Taz to the rescue
After Jon Lester got into a little bit of trouble in the seventh inning Friday, Junichi Tazawa was summoned to get out of the jam. Tazawa did just that, getting Derek Jeter to fly out to right field to end the threat. Tazawa then recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to Edward Mujica to close out the game. He has yet to allow a run in six appearances (5.2 IP, 6 H, 8 K, 1 BB).

Koji sits
Speaking of Mujica and closing out the game, Koji Uehara reported stiffness in his shoulder while throwing pregame Friday. Farrell said he doesn't believe it's anything serious and Uehara should be day-to-day for now. It's a good thing Mujica was signed in the offseason - he saved 37 games for St. Louis last season.

10-game mini-season
One stat we looked at in 2013 was the Red Sox record through 10 games. We broke down the season into 15 10-game mini-seasons and one 12-game mini-season. In '13, the Red Sox had a winning record in 11 of the 16 mini-seasons. Well, they're off to an 0-1 start this season, having gone 4-6 in the first 10 games. We'll keep track of this throughout the season, giving you an accurate snap-shot of how the team is doing every 10 games.

This and that
The Red Sox are 5-0 when leading after five innings this season ... Lester picked up his 10th win against New York since 2009, the most in MLB. It was also his eighth win at new Yankee Stadium, the most among visiting pitchers ... Boston's last eight runs have come via home run: David Ortiz (3-run) against Texas Wednesday, Daniel Nava (solo) against New York Thursday, Gomes (solo) and Sizemore (3-run) Friday.

Like what you read? See more from Ben here.
Have a question or comment for Ben? Give him a shout on Twitter: @thebenwhitehead