With the Boston Red Sox sitting in last place in the American League East and on the fence about whether to buy or sell at the upcoming trade deadline, the New York Yankees have a chance to make their fans very happy by ending their rival’s postseason chances. The Yankees host a three-game series this weekend with the struggling Red Sox, who have dropped five of six to fall a game below .500 (49-50).
New York is coming off a 2-5 road trip but still owns a 7 1/2-game lead in the East. The Yankees will introduce new outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to the home fans for the first time on Friday. Ichiro, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, is a career .304 hitter against Boston and has posted a .333 average in 15 career games at the new Yankee Stadium after hitting .341 at the old stadium. The Red Sox have been held to three runs or less in six of their last seven games and are clearly missing David Ortiz, who has been out since July 17 with a right Achilles strain.
Red Sox Yankees Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, July 27, 2012
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), YES (New York), MLBN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Aaron Cook (2-3, 3.50 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Phil Hughes (9-8, 4.09)
Cook was victimized by a pair of home runs last time out in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. The sinkerball specialist was charged with five runs – three earned – on only four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Cook is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts away from Fenway Park this season. He has faced the Yankees only once in his career, surrendering five earned runs and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings to lose last season.
Hughes has allowed a total of four runs on eight hits in 14 2/3 innings over his last two starts but has been held out of the win column in both. The 26-year old right-hander yielded three home runs in the two outings. Hughes lost at Boston on July 7, allowing five runs – three earned – and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is just 2-6 with a 6.49 ERA in 17 games – nine starts – against the Red Sox.
1. Boston manager Bobby Valentine will make his return to New York for the first time since taking over the Red Sox. Valentine managed the crosstown Mets to the World Series in 2000.
2. Yankees RF Nick Swisher (hip) could return to the lineup on Friday, pushing Ichiro to left field.
3. Red Sox LF Carl Crawford is 0-for-14 over the last four games and has been lifted late for defensive purposes in the last two contests.