Red Sox go for Sunday Night sweep


Some notes to know on the Sunday Night Baseball (ESPN, 8 ET) game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox lead the season series, 4-1, but if recent history is any indication, neither team will have an advantage at season’s end.

In EACH season from 2008-10, the teams tied the season series at nine wins apiece.

The Red Sox are 17-10 in their last 27 games after starting the season 2-10. One of Boston’s keys has been its starting pitching. The starters have compiled a 14-6 record since the team’s 2-10 start.

Sunday’s Red Sox starter is Jon Lester, who will be going for a little history on Sunday Night Baseball. Lester held the Yankees scoreless in his last two starts against them, going at least six innings in each. Only two pitchers since 1920 have had longer such streaks – Britt Burns (four straight, 1981-1982) and Schoolboy Rowe (three straight, all shutouts, 1934-1935).

Jon Lester Matchups to Watch

Derek Jeter has 36 at-bats against Lester without an extra-base hit against him. There are only two pitchers against whom he’s had more at-bats without an extra-base hit - Darren Oliver (41) and Chuck Finley (37). Jeter does have 12 hits against Lester - all singles.

Mark Teixeira is 0-for-his-last 10 vs Lester. Nick Swisher is 0-for-his-last 7 against Lester. Jorge Posada is 1-for-his-last 10 against him.

Alex Rodriguez was 1-for-13 against Lester to start his career. He’s 5-for-13 with 3 HR against him since then.

The Yankees enter Sunday having won just three of their last 10 games but one area of the team that can’t be blamed is its power.

The Yankees have hit 58 HR through 37 games (three short of the franchise record for home runs through 37 games: 61 in 2003).

Yankees 2011 AL Offensive Ranks
Through Saturday

Good thing for those home runs, because the Yankees have not been good with runners in scoring position. For the season, the Yanks are hitting .236 with RISP and lately it’s been worse. Over the last four games, they are 5-39 (.128) with RISP – including 1-17 (.059) in the first two games of the Red Sox series.

Before his eighth-inning single Saturday night, Teixeira was hitless in his last 30 at-bats (with 15 strikeouts) against the Red Sox – dating back to last season.

The Yankees starter Sunday is Freddy Garcia.

Freddy Garcia Matchups to Watch

Carl Crawford was 5-for-10 to start his career against Garcia. He’s 1-for-8 against him since then.

Freddy Garcia vs Red Sox

Garcia is 8-2 career against the Red Sox. There are 23 active pitchers with at least 10 decisions against the Red Sox. Garcia’s .800 win percentage ranks best among them.

-- Mark Simon and David Bearman contributed to this report