Unlike recent years, the Yankees have not had a tough time dealing with the Boston Red Sox so far this season. Through the first five meets, the Yankees are 4-1 against their rivals, including a 9-3 win in the series opener last night at Fenway Park.
Masahiro Tanaka pitched 7 1/3 innings of two-run back in his Fenway debut, and Jacoby Ellsbury returned to his old stomping ground by collecting two hits, one a triple off the center field wall to open the game, and the other a two-run double in the 5th inning.
Altogether, the Yankees have been playing very well over the past couple of weeks. Since starting the season 4-5, the Bombers have only dropped three of their last 11 games, with two of those being blowout losses to the Tampa Bay Rays this past weekend.
Not only has the starting rotation been pitching up to expectations, but the offense is firing on all cylinders. Ellsbury enters Wednesday sporting one of the best batting averages in the league at .342. Carlos Beltran has a team-high five homeruns after belting a solo shot last night. And Derek Jeter also extended his hitting streak to 11 games last night.
Tonight's lineup against Boston:
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran DH
- Brian McCann C
- Alfonso Soriano LF
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Brett Gardner RF
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Kelly Johnson 3B
Pitching matchup preview: Michael Pineda vs John Lackey
After having to deal with Tanaka last night, the Red Sox will get their second look of the season at right-hander Michael Pineda.
Pineda faced the Red Sox when they were first in town almost two weeks ago. You might remember his outing as the “Pinegate.” Pineda tossed six innings of one-run ball, giving up just four hits while striking out seven Boston batters.
However, the performance was overshadowed by the sticky-looking substance that was seen on his right hand. He claims it was just dirt, but many believe that story to be highly unlikely.
While Pineda has been great for the Yankees thi season, the same thing can't really be said for Sox righty John Lackey, who will also be facing the Bombers for the second time this season.
In that start against the Yanks at Yankee Stadium, Lackey gave up six runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings on April 12th, including a career-high four home runs.