The Boston Red Sox (61-77) look to take another game from thew New York Yankees (70-66) after winning the series opener last night. Boston's playoff hopes may have evaporated, but they can still take solace in playing spoiler to the Yankees, who are now 5 games out of a Wild Card spot.
Joe Kelly finally got his first win in a Red Sox uniform thanks to his offense producing a trio of home runs. Xander Bogaerts had one of them as part of a 4-hit performance that could be a sign that he's starting to break out of his long slump. The rookie SS has a modest three game hitting streak going and is hitting .437 since returning from a concussion last weekend. Mookie Betts also homered last night, making he and Bogaerts the first pair of 21-or-younger teammates to go deep in the same game for the Red Sox since 1965.
The Red Sox and Yankees are the two lowest scoring teams in the AL this season. It's been nearly a century since both of these teams ranked so low offensively and this could very well end up being the first time since the turn of this current century that both of these teams will miss the playoffs.
- Anthony Ranaudo (3-0, 4.50 ERA) has been called back up to make the start for Boston. He was demoted to Single-A after his last start in order to allow the Red Sox to keep an extra infielder on the roster. With the Single-A season coming to an end, it allowed the team to bring Ranaudo back in time for his next scheduled start, rather than waiting the normal 10-day period. Ranaudo was recently named as the International League Triple-A Most Valuable Pitcher for leading the Pawtucket staff with a 2.61 ERA in 138.0 innings.
- Jemile Weeks gets his first start at 2B since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles. He made a brief appearance as a pinch-runner in the top of the 10th inning on Monday, but was picked off. Boston failed to score in the inning and the Tampa Bay Rays went on to win in a walk-off.
- Will Middlebrooks is taking a seat after a frustrating 4-strikeout performance last night. Brock Holt had been playing 2B while Dustin Pedroia recovers from concussion symptoms, but he'll slide over to cover 3B tonight to give Weeks a shot to play.
- Mike Napoli leads all visiting players at Yankee Stadium with 6 HR and 18 RBI since joining the Red Sox last season.
- Brandon Workman has been called up in preparation to start tomorrow's series finale. He's 1-8 with a 4.93 ERA with Boston this season, taking the loss in his last 7 appearances. His time in Pawtucket was practically a mirror image, as he won his last 6 starts and was 7-1 overall at the Triple-A level.
- Hiroki Kuroda (9-8, 3.88) gets the start for New York. He's been the one constant for the Yankees through a season of turmoil for their pitching rotation. Every other pitcher from their Opening Day rotation has spent significant time on the DL this season, yet the 39-year old has yet to miss a start.
- Mark Teixeira is hitting a career low .222 this season (if you ignore last year's injury plagued season where he played only 15 games), but he has reached the 20 HR mark for the 11th time in his career. Aside from last year, he's hit at least 20 home runs every season. His power still gives him some value, but he's down to being only a 1.1 WAR player – 12th best among AL first baseman. That's not exactly what the Yankees were hoping for from a guy still owed $45 million over the next two years. He managed to live up to his massive contract over the first four years of the deal, but the second half of it is looking like a disaster.