The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees both take aim at a series win on Sunday when the American League East rivals square off at Yankee Stadium.
After CC Sabathia put on a vintage performance to give the Yankees a win in the series opener, the Red Sox bats woke up on Saturday, as they cruised in an 11-1 rout. Daniel Nava was the star of the game as he went 4- for-6 with a home run and four RBI. Mike Napoli went 3-for-5 with a grand slam and Jackie Bradley Jr. added three hits and two runs scored as well.
Getting the win for the Red Sox was Felix Doubront who allowed just a single run over six innings of work while striking out six.
Boston has won two of its last three games and holds a two-game edge on the Yanks for the top spot in the division.
Phil Hughes absorbed the loss was tagged for five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss, though he did strike out seven batters. David Adams went 2-for-4 as the only Yankee to record a multi- hit game.
New York has lost six of its last seven games.
Getting back on the mound Sunday after missing his last start with irritation to his shoulder will be Clay Buchholz.
The right-hander has been enjoying quite a strong season when injuries haven't slowed him down. Buchholz owns a perfect 7-0 record and is currently second in the majors and first in the American League in ERA (1.73). Buchholz is also striking out just about one batter per inning with 73 punch-outs in 72 2/3 innings.
In his previous start before being scratched last Monday, Buchholz allowed just one run over seven innings in a 6-2 win over the White Sox. It snapped a three-game streak for Buchholz in which he did not factor into the final decision.
Buchholz already picked up a win against the Yankees this season after he allowed just one run over seven innings back on April 3. In his career Buchholz has normally struggled against New York with a record of 3-5 and an ERA of 6.41 against the Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda, meanwhile, has been New York's most consistent starter this season.
In his last start Kuroda pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out seven batters though he did not factor in the decision. In the start previous he allowed five runs in just two innings of work after having tossed eight shutout innings in the start before that one.
Overall Kuroda has been more like the pitcher throwing the scoreless innings as he enter's Sunday's matchup boasting the best ERA among Yankee starters (2.39) while also leading New York in wins (6-3). Kuroda is also second on the team with 67 2/3 innings pitched.
Kuroda has already faced the Red Sox once this season when he took a loss opposite Buchholz on April 3. Kuroda left that game with a bruised middle finger on his pitching hand after allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings. In his career Kuroda is 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA in seven starts against Boston.
This is the second series of the season between these long-time rivals. The Red Sox took two of three in the Bronx in the first week of the season.