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Preview: Red Sox at Yankees
September 4, 2017 / 4:02 AM / 19 days ago

Preview: Red Sox at Yankees

The New York Yankees need a series win this weekend not only to stay in the race in the American League East, but also to maintain their stranglehold on the top AL wild card spot. All the Yankees need to do is beat Chris Sale when they host the Boston Red Sox in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday.

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New York cut its deficit to 4 1/2 games in the East with a 5-1 win on Saturday and got a big boost from slugger Matt Holliday, who came off the disabled list on Friday after sitting out a month with a back injury. The veteran slugged a three-run homer in Saturday’s win and could provide the Yankees lineup with some of the thump it’s been missing from Aaron Judge, who went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts on Saturday and is homerless in his last 15 games. The Red Sox are guaranteed to leave New York no worse than 3 1/2 games up in the East but would like to make it more before heading back to Boston for a nine-game homestand beginning Monday. The Yankees will send their best to the mound in Sunday’s finale as Luis Severino gets the call against Sale.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

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PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (15-6, 2.77 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Luis Severino (11-6, 3.14)

Sale ended a three-start winless streak with a dominating effort at Toronto on Tuesday, when he struck out 11 without walking a batter and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings. The Cy Young front runner leads the majors with 264 strikeouts and is 10 away from matching his career high, set with the Chicago White Sox in 2015. Sale owns a 2.12 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings against New York this season but is just 0-2 in four outings due to poor run support.

Severino is fourth in the AL with 192 strikeouts and punched out nine over 6 2/3 innings against Cleveland on Monday but could not come away with a win. The Dominican Republic native was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and three walks in that outing after surrendering a total of one earned run in his previous two turns. Severino’s worst start of the season came at home against Boston on Aug. 12, when he was ripped for 10 runs -- eight earned -- over 4 1/3 frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (thumb) came off the DL on Saturday and went 1-for-3.

2. Yankees OF Aaron Hicks (oblique tightness) left Saturday’s game and is day-to-day.

3. Boston SS Xander Bogaerts, who is 2-for-23 with 10 strikeouts in his last six games, has been out of the starting lineup the last two contests.

PREDICTION: Red Sox 5, Yankees 1

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