American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 28th (All times eastern)
Boston Red Sox (49-51) at New York Yankees (60-39), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (5-8, 5.46) New York - CC Sabathia (10-3, 3.30)
(Sports Network) - One of the greatest rivalries in sports will again be on display this afternoon as the New York Yankees entertain the Boston Red Sox in the second of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium.
New York, which lost 12 of 18 meetings to the Red Sox a season ago, is off to a quick start in the series in 2012 with six victories in seven opportunities, thanks in part to a 10-3 triumph on Friday.
The top home run hitting team in the major leagues was at it again in the opener, as Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all went deep, the latter cranking out a grand slam in the eighth inning for his 28th home run of the season and the 156th for the club overall. Along with Martin and Granderson, both Derek Jeter and newly acquired Ichiro Suzuki crossed the plate two times in the rout.
Over the last six games Granderson has belted three home runs, knocked in six and recorded 18 total bases, but at the same time he has struck out nine times and now has a total of 117 strikeouts on the campaign, third-most among AL players.
Phil Hughes stepped up for his 10th win of the campaign as he allowed just three runs on five hits, although three of those were home runs, over the course of seven innings. Hughes walked one and struck out five as well.
Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each took Hughes deep in the meeting, but at the same time Saltalamacchia also struck out three times and the Red Sox scattered five other hits without doing any damage as they fell to 24-23 on the road and 11 1/2 games off the pace in the division.
"The first 100 games have been [lousy]" Pedroia said. "I mean, at two games under .500, we're the Boston Red Sox. If everyone's thrilled about where we're at then we need to reevaluate, because I don't like losing. I know everyone else doesn't like losing, so we've got to play better, man."
Boston starter Aaron Cook tried to keep the visitors competitive, but in just four innings of work he was touched for six runs on seven hits and struck out just a single batter as he dropped to 2-4 on the season.
"It's very frustrating," said Cook. "The one thing we've got to be able to do is forget about this, wash it off and come back tomorrow. We can't think about our loss and feel bad about ourselves. We've got to come out tomorrow and try to beat a team that's trying to beat us."
While he has had success over his career against the Yankees, Boston hurler Jon Lester could certainly use a strong outing versus the club today in an effort to get on track for the season.
Lester, who is 8-4 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous 18 matchups against New York, has lost three straight outings overall and four of his last five decisions heading into action this afternoon in the Bronx. The left-hander hasn't made it out of the fifth inning in any of the last three contests, even with all of them being at home in Fenway Park.
On Sunday the Washington native was scorched for 11 runs on nine hits, including a staggering four home runs, adding five bases-on-balls while striking out just two in four innings versus Toronto.
The beginning of this current slide for Lester began against New York on July 8 when he permitted five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits and two walks, fanning six, in 4 1/3 innings of action.
As for the Yankees, they have CC Sabathia preparing to make his third appearance since coming off the disabled list with a groin injury. The 2007 AL Cy Young winner last threw against Oakland on the road last weekend but failed to earn a decision.
The left-hander, a winner in five of his last six decisions, allowed just three runs on six hits and a walk, striking out six over seven innings, but still the Yankees bowed to Oakland by a final of 4-5.
Having spent almost his entire 12-year career in the American League, Sabathia is rather familiar with the Red Sox but as great as he has been overall, he is just 7-9 with a 4.14 ERA in 20 appearances versus New York's nemesis.
The Yankees have had the best of both worlds thus far in 2012, sporting a devastating lineup on offense and a pitching staff that is currently third in the AL in ERA at 3.67.
07/28 10:20:59 ET