Despite their struggles against the New York Yankees this season, the Boston Red Sox have plenty of fight left when it comes to facing their archrival.
Hoping to build on a wild victory, the Red Sox are in position to record their first series win over the Yankees in almost a year Sunday night in the Bronx.After being roughed up in a 10-3 loss Friday, Boston (50-51) scored twice in the ninth after blowing a five-run lead to beat New York 8-6 on Saturday in game that started 2 hours, 4 minutes late because of rain. The victory was the Red Sox's second in eight games this season against the AL East-leading Yankees, who own a 10 1/2-game lead over last-place Boston."We needed to win that game," Boston pitcher Jon Lester said. "Guys came back and kept fighting. That was big for us."Winners in two of their last eight overall, the Red Sox last series victory over New York (60-40) came when they took two of three at Fenway Park from Aug. 5-7.Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including a three-run homer off CC Sabathia, with four RBIs while Pedro Ciriaco also had three hits and drove home the tiebreaking run in the ninth when Curtis Granderson misplayed his fly ball into a triple. Boston prevailed despite failing to hold a 6-1 lead after New York's Mark Teixeira tied the game at 6 with a two-run homer off nemesis Vicente Padilla in the eighth."We were good, and we were lucky," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.Seeing time at designated hitter with David Ortiz injured, Ciriaco is hitting .356 (21 for 59) in 17 games since being recalled from the minors July 6.Gonzalez is batting .394 (13 for 33) with six RBIs versus New York this season. He's hit .308 (8 for 26) with four doubles and two home runs against scheduled Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (10-7, 3.34 ERA), who is 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA in six starts since losing to Atlanta on June 19.The right-hander has yielded one run, seven hits and struck out 14 over 14 innings while winning his last two starts. He gave up that run and three hits in seven innings of a 4-1 win at Seattle on Monday.One of Kuroda's roughest outings over the last month, however, came during a 10-8 win at Boston on July 6 when he allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.The Red Sox counter with Felix Doubront (10-5, 4.54), who looks to bounce back after he was tagged for six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 9-1 loss at Texas on Monday. The left-hander had not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his previous five road starts.Doubront is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts versus New York this season, but this will be his first start at Yankee Stadium.Both of Teixeira's two hits in six at-bats versus Doubront have left the park. He's 10 for 30 with four home runs and 18 RBIs in his last seven games against the Red Sox.Boston's Carl Crawford is expected to be back in the lineup after a scheduled day off Saturday. Crawford homered Friday, his first in 10 games since coming off the disabled list to make his 2012 debut July 16.
Adrian Gonzalez, who is 15-for-43 (.349) with 3 HRs and 13 RBIs since the All-Star break through Thursday, is 8-for-26 (.308) with 2 HR and 6 RBIs in his career against Hiroki Kuroda.
Robinson Cano has really struggled against left-handed pitching this year, hitting only .250 with a .294 OBP and .361 slugging percentage through Thursday. Cano is hitless in seven career at-bats with three strikeouts against Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront.