The New York Yankees acquired Sonny Gray at the non-waiver trade deadline to be a difference-maker, and the right-hander will get a chance to thrive in a big spot on Friday. Gray makes his sixth start overall since the deal and looks to improve to 3-0 at Yankee Stadium this season when New York resumes its huge four-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
New York’s Gary Sanchez will have a hearing on the appeal of his suspension Friday, one day after clubbing his 28th homer - and sixth against the Red Sox - in the series-opening 6-2 win. Greg Bird, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list last week, has recorded seven RBIs in the last two games after going deep for the second day in a row to help pull the wild card-leading Yankees within 4 1/2 games of first-place Boston in the American League East. Andrew Benintendi ran himself into a pair of outs but notched two of the four hits for the Red Sox and reached base five times to boost his numbers to 7-for-15 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games versus the Yankees. Doug Fister, who was picked up off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels in late June and suffered a loss in relief to New York on July 15, will make his second career start at Yankee Stadium.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Doug Fister (3-7, 4.53 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Sonny Gray (8-8, 3.26)
Fister registered his fourth quality start in his last five outings versus Baltimore on Sunday but was saddled with the loss despite permitting only two runs and five hits over seven innings. He tossed his first complete game since 2014 in his previous turn, limiting Cleveland to one run and one hit. Todd Frazier is 5-for-12 lifetime against Fister, who is 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA versus New York.
Despite surrendering a total of nine earned runs in his first five starts since being acquired from Oakland, Gray owns a 2-3 record with New York. He had his best performance with the Yankees on Saturday, holding Seattle to one run and three hits in seven innings. That came after he took the loss at Boston in his previous turn as he gave up two runs in five frames to drop to 1-3 with a 4.88 ERA against the Red Sox.
1. With C Austin Romine also having his suspension appeal hearing on Friday, the Yankees acquired C Erik Kratz from Cleveland on Thursday.
2. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has played one game since July 28, is expected to come off the disabled list Friday.
3. Yankees RF Aaron Judge, who was dropped to No. 6 in the lineup Thursday, was 2-for-24 with 11 strikeouts versus Boston in August.
PREDICTION: Yankees 6, Red Sox 3