The New York Yankees knocked a game off their deficit in the American League East on Saturday and have a chance to do it again when they visit the Boston Red Sox on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series. The Yankees sit four games back after holding the Red Sox off in a 4-3 win on Saturday and control the AL wild card.
New York was questioning its bullpen after squandering a 6-3 lead on Friday, and manager Joe Girardi announced prior to Saturday’s contest that Aroldis Chapman was being removed from the closer’s role. The new setup, with Adam Warren leading into David Robertson and Dellin Betances taking care of the ninth, worked quite well when the three combined for seven strikeouts in the final three innings of Saturday’s triumph. The loss was just the third in the last 16 games for Boston, which heads to Cleveland for four straight against the AL Central leaders on Monday. The Red Sox will try to regain control of the division race behind reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello on Sunday while the Yankees counter with Sonny Gray.
TV: 1:30 p.m. ET, TBS, YES (New York), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.37 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (7-14, 4.59)
Gray earned his first win as a member of the Yankees on Tuesday, when he held the New York Mets to two runs on five hits in six innings. The Vanderbilt product surrendered two or fewer earned runs in each of his last nine starts but has not completed seven innings in any of the last seven. Gray earned a win over Boston as a member of the Oakland Athletics on May 18, when he allowed three runs and struck out eight over six innings.
Porcello is working on a three-start winning streak and is finally getting plenty of support from his offense, which totaled 27 runs in those three starts. The New Jersey native went seven innings against St. Louis on Tuesday, yielding three runs and eight hits while striking out six. Porcello is looking for his first win against New York this season after going 0-3 in the first three chances despite a 3.79 ERA.
1. Red Sox rookie 3B Rafael Devers is 4-for-8 with two home runs and four runs scored in the series and has eight homers in his first 20 games.
2. New York RF Aaron Judge set a major-league record by striking out in his 36th straight game on Saturday.
3. Boston rookie LF Andrew Benintendi went 0-for-4 on Saturday, snapping an 11-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 5, Yankees 3