Things were looking pretty good for the Yankees through the first five innings last night. CC Sabathia had cruised into the 6th inning with a shutout still in-tact, and the Yankees were up 1-0 thanks at to Alfonso Soriano homerun in the 2nd inning.

Then the 6th inning happened.

Sabathia served up a lead-off homerun to Johnny Gomes, back-to-back singles to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli, and a three-run homerun to Grady Sizemore, quickly putting the Yankees in a 4-1 hole. In the end, nine strikeouts from Sabathia in seven innings of work were not enough to save the Yanks from losing to Boston, 4-2, in the second game of this four-game weekend set in the Bronx.

Since winning four of five games last week, the Yankees have lost three of their last four, and are now trying to come away with a victory today to keep them from dropping two games under .500 through the first 12 games.

Today's lineup against Boston:

  1. Brett Gardner LF
  2. Brian Roberts 2B
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
  4. Carlos Beltran DH
  5. Brian McCann C
  6. Alfonso Soriano RF
  7. Kelly Johnson 1B
  8. Yangervis Solarte 3B
  9. Dean Anna SS

Day game after a night game, so there is no Jeter in the lineup this afternoon, in case you were wondering.

Pitching matchup preview: Hiroki Kuroda vs John Lackey

The Yankees have seen quite a few good pitching performances in the past few games. Masahiro Tanaka looked great in his start on Wednesday, striking out 10 in the Yankees' loss to the Baltimore Orioles, Michael Pineda held the Sox to one run in six+ innings Thursday night, and taking out the 6th inning, Sabathia looked good last night.

Today against the Sox, they'll be looking for Hiroki Kuroda to continue the trend.

Kuroda is making his third start of the season today, and he's coming into the gam after picking up the win in his last start in the Yankees' home opener on Monday, giving up two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 inning.

In 12 career starts against the Red Sox, Kuroda is 3-5 with and ERA of 4.05. His last start against Boston was also a matchup against Lackey on September 13th, 2013, when he took the loss after giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Lackey is coming into the game off a great start against the Texas Rangers this past week, in which he gave up just one run five hits over seven innings. Lackey has really turned things around in career since John Farrell arrived in Boston last season.

Lackey permitted four runs on six hits, including a Brendan Ryan homerun, in that Sept. 13 game against the Bombers.

Overall, Lackey has a 10-10 record in 27 starts against the Yankees with a 4.84 ERA and a WHIP of 1.49.

Beat the Streak: Francisco Cervelli went hitless for me last night, resetting my streak, so today, I'm calling on Gardner, who is 10-for-28 (.370), since 2010 against Lackey, to get me back on track.

Twitter for game coverage: @GavinEwbank