The Boston Red Sox own the best bullpen according to ERA in the major leagues, but it wasn’t much help in a loss on Friday. The Red Sox will try to bounce back and push their lead in the American League East when they visit the New York Yankees again on Saturday afternoon.
Boston held a 3-0 lead going into the eighth inning in Friday’s series opener before Addison Reed, the latest addition to the relief corps, was charged with four runs without recording an out as the Red Sox bullpen had a 19-inning scoreless streak come to an end and the team went on to suffer a 5-4 loss. Boston’s lead over the Yankees in the American League East slimmed to 3 1/2 games with the setback, which ended an eight-game winning streak. The Yankees are pulling out of a funk with wins in four of their last six games and will get plenty of head-to-head chances to make up ground in the East with nine more games against the Red Sox through the first weekend in September. New York will try to knock another game off the deficit on Saturday behind Luis Severino while Boston counters with lefty Drew Pomeranz.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.36 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (9-4, 2.91)
Pomeranz allowed one or no earned runs in six of his last 10 starts and breezed past the Chicago White Sox last Saturday while yielding one run and striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. The Ole Miss product completed seven innings just once this season but went at least six frames in six of his last seven turns. Pomeranz’s worst outing since mid-June came at home against New York on July 14, when he was reached for four runs and six hits in six innings without factoring in the decision.
Severino has been on a roll since the All-Star break, surrendering one or no earned runs in each of his last five starts. The Dominican Republic native struck out at least eight in each of his last three starts and earned the win in four straight. The lone no-decision in the last five outings came at Boston on July 15, when he scattered one run and four hits over seven frames but could not get any early support in a game the Yankees went on to win 4-1.
1. The Yankees placed LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) on the 10-day DL on Friday and recalled LHP Jordan Montgomery, who is expected to start on Sunday.
2. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee) sat out his second straight game and could be headed for another DL stint.
3. Boston LF Andrew Benintendi homered among two hits on Friday and is 10-for-18 over the last five games.
PREDICTION: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2