Following an impressive weekend series in which they did not allow a single run in three games against the Orioles, the Red Sox will look to continue their success in a four-game set against the Yankees. The Sox will send rookie Eduardo Rodriguez to oppose Ivan Nova in the series opener Monday night.
Rodriguez (9-6, 3.97 ERA) last started a week ago against the Rays. He went six innings and allowed three runs (all of which came in the first inning) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts as the Sox won 8-7 thanks to an eighth-inning grand slam from Xander Bogaerts. After the erratic first inning, Rodriguez settled in and threw five straight scoreless innings.
“For me, in the first inning, all my pitches were in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said after the game. “I tried to go outside, and they’d go to the middle. Same with the inside corner. After that, all my pitches were working pretty good to both sides of the plate.”
The 22-year-old left-hander likely will be making his final start of the season, as interim manager Torey Lovullo stated prior to last week’s start that Rodriguez would pitch 10-14 more innings in 2015.
Rodriguez has faced the Yankees three times this season, putting together a 2-1 record with a 2.45 ERA over 18 1/3 innings with a .265 opponents batting average. Rodriguez earned the win the last time he saw the Yankees, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in Boston’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 31.
Rodriguez will be making his second career start at Yankee Stadium, where he owns an 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA.
Nova (6-9, 4.87 ERA) is coming off a solid outing in the Yankees’ 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays last Wednesday. He went 5 2/3 innings and allowed one run (which scored after he left) on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
“He did a tremendous job for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to score him any runs.”
The right-hander was relegated to the bullpen on Sept. 16 following a rough stretch, but he was returned to the rotation after Masahiro Tanaka strained his hamstring running the bases against the Mets on Sept. 18.
The Yankees are 1-5 in Nova’s last six starts, and in all of them he received a decision. The 28-year-old Dominican has a 7.31 ERA in that stretch.
Nova made his first start of the season on June 24 after undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in April of 2014. He’s seeing the Sox for the third time this season, putting together an 0-2 record with a 4.97 ERA over 12 2/3 innings in the first two outings.
Nova is 3-5 with a 6.35 ERA in his eight starts at Yankee Stadium this season, and just 1-4 with a 9.41 ERA in his five in the Bronx.
The Yankees have a magic number of three to clinch a postseason berth. Their next win will be the 10,000th in team history.
Red Sox vs. Nova (RHP)
David Ortiz (29 plate appearances): .400 AVG/.483 OBP/.760 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout
Dustin Pedroia (14): .333/.429/.500, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 walks
Xander Bogaerts (12): .182/.250/.182, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ryan Hanigan (10): .300/.300/.900, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Pablo Sandoval (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 strikeout
Jackie Bradley Jr. (7): .429/.429/.429, 2 strikeouts
Mookie Betts (6): .333/.333/1.000, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Brock Holt is 1-for-6 with a strikeout.
Rusney Castillo is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Travis Shaw is 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a walk.
Yankees vs. Rodriguez (LHP)
Jacoby Ellsbury (10 plate appearances): .444 AVG/.444 OBP/1.111 SLG, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Alex Rodriguez (10): .444/.500/.889, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Didi Gregorius is 4-for-8 with an RBI.
Chase Headley is 1-for-6 with a walk, HBP and 2 strikeouts.
Chris Young is 1-for-8.
Brett Gardner is 1-for-6 with a strikeout.
John Ryan Murphy is 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
Brendan Ryan is 1-for-5 with 3 strikeouts.
Carlos Beltran is 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Greg Bird is 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
Brian McCann is 0-for-1 with 2 walks.
Rob Refsnyder is 0-for-2.