The Boston Red Sox continue their season-opening road trip with a stop at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, as they get set to renew their rivalry with the New York Yankees in the opener of a three-game set.
Boston took two out of three in Philadelphia to begin its 2015 campaign. The Red Sox piled up 11 hits en route to a 6-2 victory in Thursday's rubber match. Xander Bogaerts keyed a six-run third inning with a bases-clearing triple off Phillies starter David Buchanan. Justin Masterson twirled six innings of two- run ball for the Red Sox, as he allowed only three hits and struck out seven.
"He got a six-run lead, I think that helped," Phillies third baseman Cody Asche said of Masterson. "As a pitcher you can kind of settle in when you know you've got a big lead. You can kind of pick and choose what you want to do. I think we kind of let him off the hook."
Meanwhile, the Yankees are home for their first six games. However, they enter Friday's opener looking to grab hold of some momentum after dropping two of three to the visiting Toronto Blue Jays this week.
CC Sabathia started Thursday's series finale, his first game action since May 10 of last year. Sabathia gave up eight hits and five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out eight and walking nobody. Blue Jays phenom Daniel Norris was better, as he also went 5 2/3 frames and yielded only three earned runs for his first big league victory in just his second start.
Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for all of 2014, belted his first home run since September 20, 2013 in the loss.
"We talked about it in Spring Training. Anything that I do this year is going to be kind of a surprise to everyone -- sometimes even myself," Rodriguez said of his 655th career homer. "That one felt good to get us on the board and start a little momentum."
Each team will go with a starting pitcher making his club debut.
Wade Miley, acquired in a trade with Arizona, gets the nod for Boston. The southpaw likes to work quick and uses a sinker and an emerging curve. Miley has made just one previous start at Yankee Stadium and got a no-decision.
Nathan Eovaldi will start for New York. Acquired from the Marlins in a five- player December trade, the hard-throwing right-hander set career highs in starts (33), innings (199 2/3) and strikeouts (142) last season. His focus this spring has been on reducing contact and developing a splitter. Last year, he led the National League with 223 hits allowed.
This is the first of 18 meetings between the rivals in 2015. The Yankees open a three-game series at Fenway Park on May 1. New York had the upper hand in the head-to-head series last season, winning 12 of 19 meetings.