The Red Sox will head into the second half of their four-game series with the Yankees on Saturday when John Lackey takes the mound against Hiroki Kuroda in the Bronx.

In the very early goings of the 2014 season, Lackey has had the most success of any of the Red Sox starters. Lackey comes into Saturday’€™s start after giving up one unearned run on five hits over seven innings against the Rangers on April 7. Boston went on to win the game 5-1.

“It’€™s been a lot of fastball action early on,” Lackey, who is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA, said after his outing against Texas. “So far, my arm has been feeling pretty good. I’ve been challenging guys and trying to get ahead in the count, and A.J. [Pierzynski] called a great game again for me tonight. I was able to get ahead and dictate some at-bats and it makes things go a little bit faster.

“I definitely want to pound the strike zone. I want them to know that I’€™m going to throw strikes. If you’€™re going to get me, you better get me quick [in the count] because I’€™m coming after you, for sure. It can work both ways, if you’€™re not locating well, you can give it up pretty quick, too, that way. Just have to continue to locate and hopefully keep pitch counts down and get deep into games.”

Lackey last faced off against the Yankees and Kuroda on Sept. 13, 2013, when he did not factor into the decision after he gave up four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He also gave up a solo home run to Brendan Ryan during the third. Kuroda eventually earned the loss after he gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Kuroda also comes into Saturday’€™s game after picking up a win in his most recent outing. The 39-year-old righty gave up two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings on April 7 during the Yankees‘ 4-2 victory over the Orioles. Kuroda is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA and a WHIP of 0.97 in two starts this season.

Overall, Lackey has a 10-10 record in 27 starts against the Yankees with a 4.84 ERA and a WHIP of 1.49, and Kuroda has a 3-5 record in 12 starts vs. Boston with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.

Red Sox vs. Kuroda (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (32 plate appearances): .323 AVG/.344 OBP/.452 SLG, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (27): .348/.444/.478, 3 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Mike Carp (21): .286/.286/.429, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (21): .588/.619/1.000, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (15): .154/.200/.154, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (12): .167/.167/.417, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (10): .333/.400/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley Jr. (8): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonathan Herrera (4): .667/.750/1.000, 1 double, 1 walk

Ryan Roberts has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Kuroda.

Yankees vs. Lackey (RHP)

Ichiro Suzuki (120): .292/.333/.372, 6 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 6 walks, 16 strikeouts

Derek Jeter (79): .294/.377/.426, 6 doubles, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 18 strikeouts

Brian Roberts (45): .286/.333/.333, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Alfonso Soriano (42): .158/.238/.184, 1 double, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (34): .355/.412/.516, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (15): .200/.200/.200, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Carlos Beltran (12): .000/.167/.000, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (10): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Francisco Cervelli (6): .600/.667/1.200, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Blog Author: 
Meredith Perri

Edward Mujica picked up his first save as a Red Sox Friday night thanks to Koji Uehara's sore shoulder.</p>
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ROB BRADFORD

BIO | ARCHIVE | FULL COUNT BLOG


Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox starting left fielder, Grady Sizemore. grady talks about what it was like to hit a home run off his old teammate, C.C. Sabathia, and his reaction to not seeing Koji on the mound in a save situation.

[0:00:03] ... the fifth inning you know one pitch from your former teammate this CC sabathia that was set. What -- wise what you're looking for. You know I think it was a slider honestly just trying to ...
[0:01:37] ... what has it been like and to be able to come and Yankee Stadium in and help when he game with a big home run like it's just so much fun. I can't explain it. That's two years it just. Of a negative news Boozer and just to come back from that and be part of this team and I can tell you how excited I am having fun did. Playing left field is -- something do. Yeah there you know I you never would have only been out there much but you know feel comfortable you know I think we got a lot of good athletes out there and as -- they feel around us so you know I think. He fits into your work do -- get comfortable there -- -- play or here yes I we certainly understand integrated thanks congratulations and our Persian all right Grady Sizemore are where the three run homer. In the sixth inning -- his close friend CC sabathia to win it for the Red Sox job. ...




Dave O'Brien and Joe Castiglione talk with Red Sox starting left fielder, Grady Sizemore. grady talks about what it was like to hit a home run off his old teammate, C.C. Sabathia, and his reaction to not seeing Koji on the mound in a save situation.

[0:00:03] ... fifth inning you know one pitch from your former team -- this CC sabathia that was set. What -- wise what you're looking for. You know I think it was a slider honestly just trying to ...
[0:01:37] ... what what has it been like and be able to come and Yankee Stadium in and help when he game of the big home run like this -- so much fun. I can't explain it. That's two years it is. Of a negative news -- and just to come back from and be part of this team and I can tell you how excited I am -- -- -- it. Playing left field is as something do. Yeah there you know I you never would have only been out there much but you know feel comfortable you know I think we got a lot of good athletes out there and as -- they -- around -- so you know I think. He sits to your work -- -- get comfortable there -- play or here yes I we certainly understand integrated thanks congratulations and our Persian all right Grady Sizemore with a three run homer. In the sixth inning -- his close friend CC sabathia to win it for the Red Sox job. ...




NEW YORK —  The injuries keep coming for the Red Sox.

Just moments before what turned out to be a 4-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees Friday night, it was determined that Koji Uehara wouldn’€™t be available for duty after experiencing right shoulder stiffness during pregame.

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

NEW YORK —  The injuries keep coming for the Red Sox.

Just moments before what turned out to be a 4-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees Friday night, it was determined that Koji Uehara wouldn’€™t be available for duty after experiencing right shoulder stiffness during pregame.

“We felt it was best to stay away from him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just precautionary. This will be a day to day type of things and we’€™ll check on him tomorrow and his availability.”

Farrell noted Uehara€“ hadn’€™t been dealing with any sort of stiffness prior to Friday.

“Based on what Koji’s expressed as far as the stiffness, this doesn’t seem to be a one-pitch injury type thing,” Farrell said. “He just felt some stiffness and we wanted to stay away from him.”

The reliever did mention after the game that he had similar tightness two years ago while pitching with Texas, an issue that he said took two months to overcome after it resurfaced.

“It’s not something I feel all the time,” he said. “It’s not pain. It’s tightness when I throw. I feel it.”

Replacing Uehara in the closers role Friday night was Edward Mujica, who set the Yankees down in order in the ninth inning to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox. Mujica had served as the Cardinals’€™ closer for much of the 2013 season, having made the National League All-Star team after picking up 26 first-half saves.

“He’s got a lot of success in that closer’s role,” Farrell said. “He pitches with a lot of confidence in that ninth inning.”

“When I signed with this team they told me ‘We’re going to have a lot of opportunities in the bullpen,’”Mujica said. ‘€œThe job I did last year they said, ‘Mujica can do the job if Koji goes down.’ But everybody is ready to go to do whatever role.”

There were no plans at this time for Uehara to return to Boston for a further examination.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

NEW YORK — Grady Sizemore and Jonny Gomes were going to make sure Jon Lester was finally going to get some runs to work with. And once they did, the Red Sox lefty took advantage.

NEW YORK — Grady Sizemore and Jonny Gomes were going to make sure Jon Lester was finally going to get some runs to work with. And once they did, the Red Sox lefty took advantage.

Gomes and Sizemore both homered in the Sox’ pivotal four-run sixth inning against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, handing the visitors enough offense to claim a 4-2 win over New York, at Yankee Stadium.

(Lester had entered the game having gotten just one run of support in his first two starts.)

While Gomes’ solo homer and Sizemore’s three-run job highlighted the offense for the Red Sox, perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the night for John Farrell‘s team was the continued excellence of Lester. The starter went 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, two runs, and two walks while striking out six. Lester finished his outing throwing 113 pitches.

Sabathia continued his struggles against the Red Sox, having come in the night totaling a 4-6 mark and 6.48 ERA against the Sox since the beginning of 2011. (The Yankees‘ record in those 12 starts was 4-8.) The lefty went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking two.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- Gomes’ homer — clearing the left field fence — was his first of the season. The outfielder finished with two hits, marking his first multi-hit game of the season.

- Sizemore also came away with a pair of hits, including the blast over the right field fence with David Ortiz and Mike Napoli having gotten aboard via singles. The Sox left fielder also is now 4-for-10 against left-handers this season.

- Junichi Tazawa came on and ended the Yankees’ threat in the seventh inning, getting Derek Jeter to fly out to right on the reliever’s second pitch of the night. Tazawa came on for Lester with runners on first and second with the Sox leading by a pair. The righty finished his night allowing just one hit over 1 1/3 innings.

- Edward Mujica came on for the ninth to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox.

WHAT WENT WRONG 

- Dustin Pedroia went hitless in back-to-back games for the first time this season, going 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .240. Pedroia still hasn’t walked this season.

- Lester could have escaped his outing having surrendered just one run (an Alfonso Soriano homer) if home plate umpire Brian Hays had given the lefty a two-strike cutter against Brian Roberts in the seventh. But Roberts would ultimately walk (to Lester’s dismay), leading to a Kelly Johnson RBI single.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

NEW YORK — David Ross had hope.

For a portion of the offseason, the Red Sox catcher believed his longtime friend and teammate, Brian McCann, might actually end up in Boston.

But then, on a November get-away weekend with McCann and former Braves pitcher Eric O’€™Flaherty (whom the Red Sox also had interest in), the free agent catcher broke the news to his buddy.

NEW YORK — David Ross had hope.

For a portion of the offseason, the Red Sox catcher believed his longtime friend and teammate, Brian McCann, might actually end up in Boston.

But then, on a November get-away weekend with McCann and former Braves pitcher Eric O’€™Flaherty (whom the Red Sox also had interest in), the free agent catcher broke the news to his buddy.

“We went on a guys’€™ trip and he had told me the Yankees had made a pretty good offer early on and he was probably going to be a Yankee,” Ross said. “I didn’€™t say anything because that’€™s a lot of money and I don’€™t want to be messing up anybody’€™s thing.

“Early on I did (think McCann would come to Boston). I knew he wanted to come here, a lot. I had just told him what it was like here and that interested him. But when it comes to that much money they were talking about, I kind of stayed out of it because he’€™s got to make the best decision for him and his family. But I definitely was telling him about everything I liked about being here, and how well he would fit in here. But the Red Sox weren’€™t even close to what he got, so it really was a no-brainer.”

The left-handed hitting McCann ‘€“ who signed a five-year, $85 million deal (with a $15 team option) ‘€“ is batting just .167 with a .356 OPS in his first nine games with the Yankees.

Still, the expectation is that acquring the 10-year veteran (he of the .819 career OPS) will ultimately be a big win for the Yankees.

“It’€™s weird competing against him. It’€™s really weird,” Ross said. “It’€™s funny to me. There was a foul ball over near our dugout about 20 rows deep and he ran over and I was yelling, ‘€˜You’€™ve got room!’€™ He just started laughing. You turn yourself into competitors. I want to now kick his tail every time I play him.

“I think they knew how close we were. I know there was some dialogue and they were interested in him. There were other players they called me about, including some catchers. They knew he would fit in well here. But they were in a tough position here where they had some really good catchers coming. I don’€™t know if the Yankees felt the same way about their farm system.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford