The visiting New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, teams battling to avoid the cellar in the American League East, will meet Monday night in the first game of a four-game series.
The Yankees (71-72) are at the bottom of the division, two games behind the fourth-place Red Sox (73-70).
New York had lost three in a row until it beat visiting Milwaukee 4-3 on Sunday. The Yankees prevailed when catcher Kyle Higashioka drove in Everson Pereira with a double in the 13th inning.
“Really good at-bat,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously (Higashioka has) lost some playing time here of late, but, you know, another guy who’s just a pro. Ready to go. … Excited for him and happy we could pull one out on our way to Boston.”
The Red Sox ended a four-game losing streak by beating Baltimore 7-3 Sunday. Rookie Triston Casas hit a three-run home run — his 24th homer of the season — in the victory.
“Just happy to get a pitch over the middle of the plate to hit,” Casas said. “There were a lot of positives to take out of (Sunday’s win) — and this whole series. It’s really satisfying to at least salvage (one victory in) the series. We know that they didn’t play their best game. They made a couple key errors in some big situations that really could have put the game away, but that’s baseball. We were able to capitalize on those mistakes and come out with a win.”
The Yankees will send right-hander Clarke Schmidt (9-8, 4.54 ERA) to the mound for Monday’s game. Righty Kutter Crawford (6-7, 4.36) is Boston’s probable starter.
Schmidt had gone four appearances without a victory until he earned the win for throwing 6 1/3 innings during Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over Detroit. Schmidt allowed three runs on five hits, struck out six and had no walks. He retired 16 consecutive batters at one point.
Schmidt’s season got off to a rough beginning, as he had a 6.30 ERA though his first nine starts.
“On the whole, he’s just gotten to be a much better pitcher, more polished pitcher,” Boone said. “I think he’s proven that he can be a starter in this league. I think he’s really got a grasp of his arsenal and how to use it and when to use it.
“I think he’s really learned a lot from his experiences from start to start. … Certainly took his lumps the first month or so of the season, but learned a lot from that.”
Schmidt is 0-1 with a 4.03 ERA in seven career appearances (three starts) against the Red Sox. He’s surrendered five home runs in 22 1/3 innings against them.
Crawford is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his career against the Yankees. He’s made five appearances against the Yankees (three starts) and has 19 strikeouts in 19 innings.
Crawford struggled with his command in Tuesday’s 8-6 loss to Tampa Bay. He gave up five runs on three hits, walked four and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings. Crawford has allowed 11 runs in his last two outings (6 1/3 innings).
The Red Sox are 2-7 in their last nine home games.
–Field Level Media