(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox hope to deliver what could be the final
blow to the New York Yankees' postseason hopes on Sunday when they try to
complete a four-game sweep of their bitter rivals at Yankee Stadium.
And to make matters worse for New York it may have to play Sunday's finale
without captain Derek Jeter, who left Saturday's 13-9 loss because manager Joe
Girardi said he "didn't like the way he was running."
However, a precautionary CT scan on Jeter's surgically repaired left ankle
came back negative. Still, the results will be sent to Dr. Robert Anderson --
the Charlotte, N.C., based physician who performed Jeter's ankle surgery in
October -- as an extra precaution.
"It's not what you want," Girardi said on Saturday. "It's what we've had to
deal with a lot this year. Hopefully he's OK tomorrow and he can play or
The Red Sox added to the Yankees' misery on Saturday, as Jonny Gomes
finished 3-for-4 with a three-run blast and four RBI in the Red Sox' win. The
Yankees are 2 1/2 games off the final wild card spot in the AL.
Boston has taken 10 of 15 from the Yanks this season, including seven of nine
at Yankee Stadium. The AL East leaders have racked up 34 runs in this set,
having increased their output in each successive contest.
Backed by that prolific offense, John Lackey (9-12) picked up the win despite
allowing eight hits and seven runs over 5 2/3 innings.
"Yeah, the boys picked me up today. They swung the bats great. They've swung
the bats great the whole series," Lackey said. "It's fun to watch when they
get on a roll like that."
Despite Saturday's attempted comeback from a 10-2 deficit, New York became the
first club in AL history to score eight-or-more runs in three straight home
games and lose each one.
In his first start of 2013, David Huff (2-1) was torched in defeat for eight
hits and nine runs over 3 1/3 frames.
"It was terrible. To come off what I've been doing here and to have that
happen today, it was just embarrassing," said Huff, who only surrendered two
earned runs over 16 innings previously as a reliever.
Getting the call for the Red Sox on Sunday will be lefty Jon Lester, who has
won three of his last four starts. Lester beat the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday,
holding them to a run in seven innings, as he ran his record to 13-8 to go
along with a 3.88 ERA.
Just more than a month after his ERA was 4.52, Lester has now gone six
straight games in which he's allowed three earned runs or fewer -- a streak
he's only beaten once, a nine-game stretch of brilliance in 2009.
He's posted a 1.71 ERA in that span and hasn't allowed a home run.
"I'm in a better spot right now as far as going down the mound," Lester said,
"which puts me in a better position for that pitch. I think maybe taking a
break from it for a little bit helped me, trying not to pound my head against
the wall with it. It's been good the last three, four, five starts, so, keep
grinding it out."
Lester is 10-5 lifetime versus the Yankees with a 4.14 ERA in 24 starts.
New York, meanwhile, turns to the struggling Hiroki Kuroda, who has lost his
last three decisions. Kuroda did not get a decision on Tuesday against the
Chicago White Sox, but was not sharp and surrendered four runs and seven
hits in 6 1/3 frames of a 6-4 win.
Kuroda, who is 11-10 on the year, has given up 23 runs over his last 23
innings and raised his ERA from 2.33 to 2.99.
"I thought his stuff was better tonight," Girardi said. "The top of the order
has been tough on him, and they were tough on him again tonight. But I thought
his stuff was better, and that's a good sign for me."
The Sports Network