USA Today Sports
After playing more than 10 hours of baseball in a span of just over 21 hours, the Boston Red Sox and the host New York Yankees will finally have some down time before a Sunday night matchup to close out a three-game series. The Red Sox claimed the 19-inning marathon in the series opener that ended Saturday morning and then rode a monster performance from Brock Holt – who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs in his first start of the season – to an 8-4 win Saturday afternoon.
The victory stretched their winning streak to three games and the Red Sox can record their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium in nearly four years. Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava had two RBIs apiece for Boston while first baseman Mike Napoli was hitless in four at-bats to fall to 0-for-17 on the season. Starter Joe Kelly limited the Yankees to a run on one hit in seven innings, dropping the ERA for Red Sox starters to 2.30 and New York’s team batting average to .193. Both teams will throw out their Opening Day starters in the finale, with Boston turning to Clay Buchholz and the Yankees handing the ball to Masahiro Tanaka.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN
LINE HISTORY: Most books opened the Yankees in the -110 to -115 range with the total set at 7.
WEATHER FORECAST: Clear skies with zero chance of precipitation in this game. Temperatures will be near the 57°F-60°F with winds gusting southward at six miles per hour.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Red Sox have major question marks plaguing their starting rotation. It might not matter if their offense lives up to expectations. The Yankees don?t look great on paper. In fact, they don?t look very good at all. But here?s thinking the minimal pressure and expectations will actually help them succeed in a division that isn?’t quite as imposing as it once was.” – Covers Expert Sean Murphy
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Clay Buchholz (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Masahiro Tanaka (0-1, 9.00)
Buchholz struck out nine, walked one and yielded just three hits in his seven-inning gem at Philadelphia on Opening Day in his 150th career start. He was 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA against the Yankees in 2014 and is 5-7 with a 5.64 mark for his career, spanning 15 starts. New York 1B/3B Alex Rodriguez is 10-for-25 with a pair of home runs against Buchholz, who is in line to make his home debut next weekend against Baltimore.
While Buchholz was outstanding in his season debut, Tanaka had some issues, giving up four earned runs in four innings of a 6-1 loss to Toronto. He tossed a complete game in his only previous home start against Boston on June 28, 2014, but was tagged with a tough 2-1 loss. Tanaka has posted a 2.44 ERA in 11 career starts at Yankee Stadium, striking out 83 while allowing 59 hits in 73 2/3 innings.
*Yankees are 1-4 in Tanaka’s last 5 starts vs. American League East.
*Over is 7-1 in Red Sox last 8 games vs. a right-handed starter.
*Under is 6-1 in Tanaka’s last 7 home starts.
*Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.