The New York Yankees seek a measure of revenge as they travel to take on the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series beginning Friday.
New York was swept by Boston at home over three games earlier this month. The Yankees enter having won seven of their last nine, including 8-1 over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.
“Any time you score eight runs, that’s a big offensive output and a lot of guys having a hand in it,” manager Aaron Boone said. “It could have been even more, just by the amount of heavy at-bats up and down the order. It’s good to see these guys really starting to get a little bit of that swagger.”
Swagger was absent for the Red Sox in a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Even though Boston’s pitching staff carried a combined no-hitter into the eighth inning, its offense was held to four hits in defeat.
The Red Sox have lost four of their last six games. Manager Alex Cora still spoke positively Thursday of his team’s ability to keep up with top competition.
“A lot of people didn’t believe in this team before the season,” Cora said. “I think the way we played against these guys tonight shows how good we are. We have a lot of work to do, we know that. We belong in the conversation, we really do.”
Left-hander Martin Perez (5-4, 4.32 ERA) gets the nod for Boston on Friday. New York counters with righty Domingo German (4-4, 4.17).
Perez missed the Yankees during the series in New York. The veteran put back-to-back rough starts behind him when he held the Kansas City Royals to one run on three hits over five innings in a win last time out.
For his career, Perez is 2-3 with a 7.92 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees.
German faced the Red Sox on June 6, holding their offense to one run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings in a contest Boston would eventually win in 10 innings. He is 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA in seven games (six starts) versus the Red Sox.
New York enters Friday 3 1/2 games behind second-place Boston in the American League East standings.
“Every game is an important game, but these games where we … have a chance to kind of chip away at that lead — this is a big series for us,” said Aaron Judge, who was one of three Yankees to homer on Thursday. New York has slugged 29 blasts in its last 14 games.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, have been held to three runs or fewer in each of their last four losses. Hunter Renfroe hit Boston’s lone home run during its series against first-place Tampa Bay.
Before Friday’s game, the Red Sox will hold a ceremony honoring second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The 2008 AL MVP retired in February after largely sitting out the last three seasons with injuries.
–Field Level Media