Yanks, Sox Meet In Rubber Match

Mike Napoli's 9th inning home run off Masahiro Tanaka gave the Red Sox a 2-1 victory over the Yankees on Saturday.

Mike Napoli’s 9th inning home run off Masahiro Tanaka gave the Boston Red Sox a 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday, leveling the series at 1-1.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox meet in the rubber game of a three-game set Sunday night in a nationally televised matchup from Yankees Stadium in the Bronx.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.

After succumbing to a 6-0 defeat in Friday’s series opener, Boston (37-44, 17-25 road) bounced back on Saturday, receiving an excellent outing from starting pitcher Jon Lester.

Lester (9-7) allowed just one run on five hits through eight innings, striking out six and walking two.

Mike Napoli gave his pitcher a lot to be happy for in the ninth inning, connecting with Masahiro Tanaka’s two-out pitch and knocking it out of the park.

Koji Uehara recorded the save as the Red Sox went on to win the game 2-1.

20140629_AL_EastThe victory marked just the third time (in nine meetings) the Red Sox had defeated their arch rivals this season. It also marked a second straight loss for Tanaka (11-3), widely considered to be one of the American League’s best pitchers despite this being his first season in the United States.

New York (41-38, 18-19 home) will look to rebound on Sunday night and bring its home record toan even .500.

Rookie Chase Whitley (3-1, 4.07 ERA) will take to the mound for the home side, looking for a bounce back of his own after a tough outing on Monday.

Against the Toronto Blue Jays, the25-year-old allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits and walked three in just 3 1/3 innings of play. The Yankees went on to lose that game 8-3. Whitley’s Era skyrocketed from 2.56 to 4.07 in the process.

Prior to that rough outing, the rookie had shown good poise and talent, helping out the Yankees’ decimated starting rotation in the process.

It was a similar story for Boston starter John Lackey (8-5, 3.45 ERA) in his last start.

Lackey gave up seven runs on seven hits in an 8-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Monday. Prior to that, the 35-year-old had been solid for most of the season, particularly in a decisionless nine inning shutout against the Minnesota Twins on June 18.

Both pitchers will look to shrug off these latest outings when they take the mound at Yankee Stadium.

Napoli’s game-winning home run on Saturday was his third long shot in seven games, a period in which he’s gone 7-for-17. Manager John Farrell will hope to see more of the same moving forward. Napoli has hit in five of the nine head-to-head matchups this season.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira went 2-for-4 on Saturday. He’s hit safely against the Red Sox in eight of nine games this season. However, Teixeira – the Yankees’ leader in home runs and RBIs – has not hit a home run since June 12, and has recorded just two this calendar month. Is he due one against the Sox?

Boston will be without Mike Carp (foot), who began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket this weekend.

New York got good news this week when pitcher C.C. Sabathia began a rehab assignment at Class A Tampa. Joe Girardi and Co. will hope the assignment goes smoothly and Sabathia returns to the fray sooner rather than later. Regardless, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is reportedly shopping for a new pitcher.

Can rookie Chase Whitley help the Yankees bounce back?

Can rookie Chase Whitley help the Yankees bounce back?

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees odds for 06/29/2014

Bookmakers are sitting on the fence for this one. When the moneyline opened, both teams sat at -105. Since, there’s been little separation, although BetOnline and TopBet are marginally backing the Yankees to take this one.

New York has won six of the nine meetings between the clubs this season, including four of six played at Yankee Stadium.

Boston is just 5-13 in its last 18 games on the road, while the Yankees are 6-3 in its last nine at home.

The over/under opened at 9 but quickly dropped to 8.5.

Both pitchers have shown they can keep bats quiet, which would have you lean towards the under. The under actually looks like the smart bet here.

Four of the last six head-to-head matchups have seen the under pay out, while six of the last seven games played between the sides at Yankee Stadium have also ended with the total going under.

The total has gone under in eight of Boston’s last 12 road games, and four of the Yankees’ last five at home.

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Following Sunday’s rubber match, the Yankees will welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to the Bronx before heading out on an 11-game road trip to close out the first half of the season.

The Red Sox will return home to begin a 10-game homestand, starting with three against the Chicago Cubs.

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