(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox try to become the first team in the
majors to reach 60 wins on the season as they continue a three-game set with
the storied rival New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.
Last night the Red Sox scored three runs in the first two innings, just enough
to carry them to what would become a 4-2 triumph in the series opener. Boston
starter Felix Doubront permitted two runs -- one earned -- on three hits and
three walks, while striking out five, en route to his seventh win of the
"I keep going deep in the game," said Doubront. "And my confidence, my focus
is improving. I'm just trying to go deep and help the team win the game, keep
the score down and let my team score runs."
Koji Uehara threw a total of just seven pitches in the ninth inning, all but
one of those being strikes, as he picked up his ninth save.
Jonny Gomes and Jacoby Ellsbury both went deep for the home team, the former
knocking in two and scoring twice himself, while David Ortiz notched a couple
of doubles to raise his average to .320.
With the victory, Boston is now 32-16 at home and has a lead of 2 1/2 games
over Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East standings. It may
not have been an offensive barrage for the Sox on Friday, but still the team
owns the best run differential (plus-93) in the AL, second only to St. Louis
(plus-130) in the majors overall.
Taking the loss for the Yankees was Andy Pettitte, now an even 7-7 on the year
after permitting four runs on six hits and a walk. Pettitte struck out four in
6 1/3 innings, but he was also the one who served up the home runs to Gomes
"This ain't easy," said Pettitte in the losing effort. "It's a tough lineup.
Those guys are good over there. They can hit the ball. You're trying to battle
as best you can."
Chris Stewart was credited with the only RBI of the contest for New York,
delivering a double to left in the fifth inning to score Lyle Overbay.
New York, which has now dropped three straight, is still six games over .500
on the season, but that also leaves the club fourth in the division standings,
seven games behind the Red Sox.
Not only did the Yankees come out on the losing end of Friday's series opener,
the team also took a hit off the field when it was announced that Derek Jeter
was heading to the disabled list again. The aging veteran, who began the
season on the DL because of an ankle injury, returned to action on July 11
versus Kansas City and managed to pick up one hit in four at-bats before
Now dealing with a Grade 1 right quad strain, Jeter's move to the DL is
retroactive to July 12. With the Yankee captain on the shelf yet again, the
team has recalled infielder Brent Lillibridge from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-
A veteran of 347 major league games, the 29-year-old went just 1-for-24 with
two RBI and nine strikeouts in nine contests earlier this season with the
Yankees. Lillibridge, who was hitless in three at-bats with a walk and a
couple of strikeouts on Friday, was hitting .341 in 23 games with
Gunning for back-to-back wins for the first time since the middle of May,
Hiroki Kuroda is slated to take the ball for the Yankees this afternoon at
Fenway. The right-hander, who has lost four of his last six decisions, has
often had to rise above the fact that the New York offense has staggered in
The last time out on July 12, Kuroda threw five shutout innings, permitting
six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five, but still the Yankees
won by a score of just 2-0.
Kuroda lost his most recent outing of the season versus Boston back on June 2
by a score of 3-0, scattering eight hits -- two home runs -- and fanning five
in 5 1/3 innings. For his career, the Japanese product has a record of 2-3
with a 3.88 ERA in eight starts versus the Sox.
Stepping up to counter for Boston on the hill will be John Lackey, who will be
shooting for his second straight win and the fifth in the last six decisions.
The right-hander, already 4-1 with just a 1.32 ERA in six home dates in 2013,
last pitched on July 12 versus Oakland on the road, limiting the A's to just
two runs on three hits over seven innings, although he did have almost as many
walks (four) as strikeouts (five) in the 4-2 victory.
For his career, Lackey has a mark of 8-9 with a 4.68 ERA in 23 starts against
Boston, which won just five times against the Yankees in 18 chances last
season, now leads the series in 2013 by a count of 5-2 after winning four of
six matchups played in the Bronx prior to this collection of games.
The Sports Network