MLB Game Preview - Red Sox v Yankees

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Boston1 2 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 11130
NY Yankees0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 672
  W: S. Wright (3-1)   L: C. Green (8-3)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 20, 2018
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York  Attendance: 47,351

Yankees trying to prevent Red Sox clincher

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

  1. Boston's magic number to clinch the division is currently two, meaning one victory over the Yankees in this series would give the Red Sox their third consecutive division crown. If/when the Red Sox clinch, it will be their fourth division championship since the Yankees last won the AL East in 2012.
  2. These teams last faced off in Boston in early August, with the Red Sox sweeping a four-game series, outscoring the Yankees 28-13. Red Sox pitching held the Yankees to a .157 batting average in that series, the lowest average by a Yankee team against Boston in a four-game series ever.
  3. The Yankees will send J.A. Happ to the mound in the series opener. In eight starts so far with the Yankees, Happ has recorded six wins to go along with a 2.70 ERA. The last Yankee left-hander to win six of his first eight starts with the team with a sub-3.00 ERA was Tommy John in 1979.
  4. The Red Sox will counter with former-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi began his Red Sox career with two wins and 15.0 shutout innings over his first two starts. In his last seven appearances (six starts) since then, Eovaldi is winless with a 6.58 ERA and a .361 opponent batting average.
  5. In 13 games against Boston this season, Giancarlo Stanton has slashed .408/.455/.735 with nine extra-base hits and 11 runs scored. Stanton is one strikeout away from joining teammate Aaron Judge as the only Yankees ever to strike out 200 times in a season.
  6. Mookie Betts and teammate J.D. Martinez have combined for a .623 slugging percentage in 2018. Only two times in franchise history have two qualified batters combined for a higher mark in a season: Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams (.647 in 1939), and David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez (.629 in 2006).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/18/2018 thru 9/20/2018
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox are trying to secure their third straight American League East title while the New York Yankees are preventing it from happening and auditioning potential starting pitchers for the wild-card game.

So far, the Yankees are 2-for-2 in keeping the champagne in storage for their rivals and New York will try to complete the sweep and keep the Red Sox from clinching Thursday night in the finale of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

"We don't want them to celebrate here and we're going to do everything we can to not do that," New York's Neil Walker said Tuesday.

Walker was responsible for putting the celebration on hold Tuesday by hitting a go-ahead three-run homer off Ryan Brasier in the seventh inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 win. On Wednesday, it was Luke Voit homering in consecutive at-bats off David Price in New York's 10-1 win.

Besides the power resulting in the Yankees tying their single-season record of 245 homers, the first two games can be viewed as part of the competition for who starts Oct. 3. New York's J.A. Happ allowed an unearned run in six innings Tuesday and Luis Severino followed it by pitching seven innings of one-run ball to win his 18th game on Wednesday.

"We're going to fight to the end," Severino said. "It doesn't matter what the score says. They're going to win 100-something games. We're going to be behind them. We're going to grind to the end and every game from here now we're going to fight to the end."

On Wednesday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone seemed to drop a hint about who might pitch in a wild-card game, and it appears Masahiro Tanaka, who starts Thursday, could be deployed for that start.

"We've started to talk about it a little bit in earnest the last few days in about where we're at, what we're thinking, possibilities and then how these next dozen games or so, whatever we have left, how they play out and how the rotation falls a little bit will all factor into our decision as to who we would pitch in a wild-card scenario, who would we pitch if we were moving on," Boone said. "Those are things we're starting to have conversations about and I would say that these next 12 days will play a role in that."

Tanaka enters the audition armed with a 12-5 record and a 3.47 ERA but, more importantly, on a roll. He has won his last three starts and is working on a 20-inning scoreless streak, which is just shy of the 21 1/3-inning scoreless run Tanaka put together from July 15-Aug. 5.

Tanaka also has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 11 starts, posting a 2.15 ERA in that span. Equally important, he has allowed just six homers in his last 71 innings.

The right-hander last pitched in Friday's 11-0 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays when he allowed four hits in six innings.

Tanaka is 8-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 17 career starts against the Red Sox and 1-0 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts this season against Boston.

The Red Sox (103-49) have lost their third series in the last 22 since the start of July and are trying to avoid three straight losses for the fourth time this year and first instance since Aug. 24-26.

"It's disappointing because what we set to do every series is to win it," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "We don't have a chance to win the series. We'll show up tomorrow. We know what's at stake. We'll try to win a game and make it a happy flight."

Boston has managed three runs in the two games to fall to 2-6 at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox are hitting .244 (129-for-530) this month, with a few hitters slumping of late.

Andrew Benintendi is in a 2-for-15 slide, Xander Bogaerts is in a 2-for-14 slump while Mookie Betts has one hit in his last 12 at-bats. Betts went 0-for-4 with a walk as the designated hitter Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday to rest his left side.

"There's a few guys struggling and we've faced some good pitching too," Cora said. "It's a combination of both. I do think that sometimes we get too passive at the plate. We're taking too many pitches right in the middle."

Eduardo Rodriguez will make his fourth start since returning from a sprained right ankle that cost him 39 games. Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA since returning but allowed one run on five hits in six innings a week ago in a no-decision against Toronto

Rodriguez is 12-4 with a 3.53 ERA. He began the season 3-0 with a 5.29 ERA but is 9-4 with a 2.89 ERA in his last 16.

In 11 career starts against the Yankees, Rodriguez is 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA. This year, he is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts versus New York.

Updated September 20, 2018

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