Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 3-0 (as of 9/7)

Game 1: Thursday, September 5
in 10
NY Yankees8
Game 2: Friday, September 6
NY Yankees8
Game 3: Saturday, September 7
NY Yankees9
Game 4: Sunday, September 8
NY Yankees4

Red Sox 13

(87-57, 40-32 away)

Yankees 9

(75-67, 43-31 home)

    Coverage:  FOX

    1:05 PM ET, September 7, 2013

    Yankee Stadium, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 023520001 13 14 0
    NYY 011104020 9 12 0

    W: J. Lackey (9-12)

    L: D. Huff (2-1)

    Red Sox-Yankees Preview

    Even if David Huff rises up to the challenge of turning in a decent effort in his first 2013 start, it may not matter given the way the New York Yankees' bullpen is performing.

    The visiting Boston Red Sox have struck late to take the first two games of this four-game set as they look for a fifth straight win Saturday.

    Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided this week to pull 13-game loser Phil Hughes out of his rotation in favor of Huff (2-0, 3.32 ERA) on Saturday.

    Hughes, however, was part of a major meltdown by the Yankees bullpen in Friday's 12-8 loss. Starter Andy Pettitte left after six innings with an 8-3 lead before Boston (86-57) scored nine runs over the seventh and eight innings off four relievers.

    One night earlier, the Yankees were one strike away from an 8-7 victory before closer Mariano Rivera suffered his sixth blown save in a 9-8, 10-inning loss. Rivera pitched for the third straight night and was unavailable Friday.

    "We've been dealing with this all year long," Girardi said. "So it's a chance for other guys to step up, and they're going to get an opportunity."

    Mike Napoli hit a tying grand slam in the seventh inning off Boone Logan. Shane Victorino then gave the Red Sox the lead for good with a two-run homer in the eighth after he drove in the eventual winning run Thursday with a single.

    "We never feel like we're out of it," manager John Farrell said.

    The news got even worse for the Yankees with Logan exiting with tightness in the back of his elbow, one batter after serving up Napoli's slam. Top setup man David Robertson is expected to be sidelined five or six days with tendinitis in the back of his right shoulder and Shawn Kelley is out until next week because of inflammation in his triceps.

    New York (75-66) fell behind Baltimore and Cleveland as those three teams try to catch Tampa Bay in the race for the AL's second wild card. The Yankees have dropped nine of 14 to the first-place Red Sox.

    Huff, who went 17-26 with a 5.41 ERA in 52 starts with Cleveland between 2009-12, is tasked with trying to slow down a Boston team that has won 11 of 13.

    "I'm just here to basically help them out, whether it's an inning out of the bullpen or whatever, if it's a start, great," Huff said. "This time it is so I'm really happy about it."

    The right-hander is 0-2 with a 1.65 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox. He has faced one Boston hitter this season -- Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Ellsbury, who leads the majors with 52 steals, sat out Friday with a sore right foot. Farrell said he was hopeful the center fielder will return Saturday.

    Huff will have to be careful with Will Middlebrooks, who has homered in three straight games for the first time and is 7 for 15 with six RBIs in that span.

    The Yankees haven't lost three straight since a four-game slide Aug. 4-7 as they face veteran right-hander John Lackey (8-12, 3.22), who is 1-4 with a 3.19 ERA during a five-start stretch in which Boston has totaled 13 runs.

    The lone victory was a 6-1 win over the Yankees on Aug. 17 in which he yielded one run over 6 2/3 innings. His other start against New York was a 5-2 road loss July 20 in which he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

    Alfonso Soriano, who homered Friday, is a .152 hitter against Lackey while Alex Rodriguez is at .183 with 26 strikeouts in 60 at-bats. Lackey has faced Ichiro Suzuki 108 times -- the most he has seen any hitter, with the right fielder hitting .287.

    Boston's Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has missed four consecutive games with a sore back, could return Saturday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     BostonNew York
    Current StreakL2W3
    Last 105-55-5

    Pitching Matchup

    BostonNew York
    J. Lackey
    10-13, 3.52 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/24 at COL
    6.0 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = Loss
    D. Huff
    3-1, 5.50 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 at HOU
    5.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.BostonNew York
    1. S. Victorino, RF B. Gardner, CF
    2. J. Gomes, LF D. Jeter, SS
    3. D. Pedroia, 2B R. Cano, 2B
    4. D. Ortiz, DH A. Soriano, LF
    5. M. Napoli, 1B C. Granderson, DH
    6. W. Middlebrooks, 3B E. Nunez, SS
    7. J. Bradley Jr., CF L. Overbay, 1B
    8. R. Lavarnway, C I. Suzuki, RF
    9. X. Bogaerts, SS A. Romine, C

    Research Notes

    * By Wins Above Replacement, Ellsbury is going to be very tough to replace. He ranked as a top-3 player for Boston this year and top-10 in the American League. No player in MLB has been more valuable on the basepaths this season.
    The Red Sox are the first VISITING team to score at least 9 runs in 3 straight games, all within the same series, against the Yankees since the Red Sox in 1912 (4 games). The only other visiting team to do it since the team moved to New York (in 1903) was the Cleveland Naps in 1911.
    According to Elias, this is the first Red Sox-Yankees series ever in which both teams scored at least eight runs in each of three consecutive games.
    From Elias: The Red Sox have scored 54 runs in their last 4 games combined. That's the most runs scored in a 4-game span by the Red Sox since they scored 64 from June 7-10, 1950.
    From Elias: Red Sox are the 2nd visiting team to score at least 12 runs in consecutive games (within the same series) vs the Yankees since the team moved to New York in 1903. The other was the 1907 Washington Senators.
    Jacoby Ellsbury has been successful on league-leading 52 of 56 stolen base attempts this season. If he keeps up the pace, he will finish with the highest single-season stolen base percentage among American League players with at least 50 stolen base attempts.
    The Red Sox have scored 9+ runs in 3 straight games vs the Yankees for just the 3rd time in franchise history. It is the 1st time the Red Sox have accomplished that feat since June 17-19, 1977 (confirmed by Elias Sports Bureau).
    From Elias: Yankees are the 1st team in American League history to lose 3 straight games, each of them at home, and scoring at least 8 runs in each game. The only other team to do this was the Rockies in 1999.

    ESPN Stats & Information