With their losing streak over and two key members of their lineup back from injury, the New York Yankees hope they can now begin to get on a roll.
Phil Hughes is on one of his own against the Boston Red Sox, as he'll look to win a fourth straight start over them in the middle game of this three-game series at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.
New York (31-23) had lost a season-high five in a row, including a four-game sweep by the New York Mets , before beating Boston 4-1 on Friday.
Mark Teixeira (partially torn tendon in right wrist) made his season debut and Kevin Youkilis (back) played for the first time since April 27. Teixeira went 0 for 3 with a walk and a run while Youkilis added an RBI single.
The infielder is batting .357 during a seven-game hitting streak against his former team.
The returns of Youkilis and Teixeira are timely for a Yankees club that has been ravaged by injury throughout the season."These guys grind out at-bats," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think their impact is big, and we need to keep them healthy."
Hughes (2-3, 4.97 ERA) will try for a third straight strong outing as looks to put a pair of rough games further behind him. The right-hander allowed 13 runs in 6 1-3 innings over a pair of starts in mid-May, but he's given up three runs in 13 innings in two outings since.
Hughes allowed one run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Mets on Monday.
He has been dominant during his three-start win streak against Boston, posting a 1.27 ERA and giving up no earned runs in the past two matchups.
Boston (33-23) will look to end that run while attempting to get back on track offensively. The Red Sox have dropped three of four after a 10-3 stretch, totaling five runs in the past three defeats.
Boston leads the major leagues in runs.
Dustin Pedroia had three hits Friday to extend his hitting streak to five. He's gone 15 for 31 in his last eight against the Yankees.
Boston played the series opener without Jacoby Ellsbury due to a tight left groin. He stole a team-record five bases in a 9-2 win over Philadelphia on Thursday and experienced tightness after the final one."We're expecting to be a day-to-day and hopefully not too long of a situation," manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox will send Felix Doubront to the mound Saturday as he seeks his first victory in six starts.
Doubront (3-2, 5.29) has posted a 3.18 ERA over his last three outings but has received two runs of support in that stretch. He allowed four runs - two earned - and struck out eight in six innings against Cleveland on Sunday before the Red Sox rallied for four in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 2.52 ERA in four starts against the Yankees. He opposed Hughes the last time he faced them, giving up two runs and walking five in 6 1-3 innings of a 2-0 defeat Sept. 13.
Hughes struck out seven in 7 1-3 innings.
|Boston Red Sox|
|May 31, 2013||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Tight left groin|
|May 26, 2013||Clay Buchholz||Day-to-Day||Right collarbone pain|
|May 24, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||15-Day DL||Low back strain|
|May 23, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
|May 21, 2013||Shane Victorino||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|May 20, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
|New York Yankees|
|May 25, 2013||Curtis Granderson||15-Day DL||Broken left pinkie finger|
|May 24, 2013||Curtis Granderson||Day-to-Day||Left game - Broken left pinkie finger|
|May 24, 2013||David Phelps||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right arm injury|
|May 17, 2013||Andy Pettitte||15-Day DL||Strained left trapezius muscle|
|May 16, 2013||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight left trapezius|
|May 16, 2013||Chris Stewart||Day-to-Day||Left groin injury|
NEW YORK (AP) -- All these intentional walks to David Ortiz are becoming a good move - for Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox, that is.
Napoli hit a grand slam right after Ortiz got a free stroll, Felix Doubront stifled the Yankees once again and the Boston Red Sox sent New York to its sixth loss in seven games, 11-1 Saturday night.
Napoli has batted four times this season after intentional walks to Ortiz. He's produced in those spots, homering twice and driving in eight runs.
"My job is to be his protection," Napoli said. "I like protecting him and maybe giving managers another thought."
Daniel Nava added a three-run homer in the eighth inning that emptied the crowd. The aisles were full of fans streaming to the exits by the time Nava touched the plate, and a "Let's go, Red Sox!" chant erupted when Stephen Drew homered in a three-run ninth.
The Red Sox stopped Phil Hughes ' recent run of success against them and evened this three-game series going into Sunday night's wrapup. Boston won on a warm evening, with Yankees catcher Chris Stewart leaving after the fourth inning because of dehydration.
Napoli's second slam of the season capped a five-run burst in the third and followed the one-out walk to Ortiz. Stewart and shortstop Jayson Nix visited Hughes when the count reached 2-2 - Hughes said it was to change signs - and Napoli lined the next pitch over the right-center fence for his fifth career slam.
"Maybe a little bit of an extra challenge," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He responded well."
Napoli admitted he was extra eager, and swung too hard at first. He then took a deep breath, relaxed and connected.
"You got one guy that's struck out 75 times in 200 at-bats, one guy that's struck 22 times in 150 at-bats coming into this series," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To me, you're looking for a strikeout in that situation."
"It's a situation where I don't necessarily want to do it, either," he said. "I don't want to start putting people on base, but you're trying to shut down an inning. I'm going to do what I think is the best thing to do. I thought the best thing to do was to try and get Napoli."
The Red Sox had been outhomered by the Yankees 4-0 in their first four meetings this year. Napoli and Nava provided pop, and more - Nava got four of Boston's 18 hits and had an RBI grounder in the ninth, Napoli had three hits.
Doubront (4-2) won for the first time in five starts since his last victory on April 27. He permitted one run and six hits in six innings, striking out six.
The 25-year-old lefty with the slow, big-breaking curve has a 2.52 ERA in 10 career outings against the Yankees, including four straight quality starts last year.
"The adrenaline, facing those guys," he said.
Robinson Cano was hitless in 12 career at-bats against Doubront before solving him for a single. The next time up, the All-Star took a wild swing and missed a 72 mph breaking ball by a lot.
Hughes (2-4) was pulled in the fifth when Napoli came up. The right-hander won his final three starts against Boston last year while allowing a total of three earned runs.
NOTES: Girardi said Stewart got "lightheaded" but was OK. ... Napoli hit Boston's fourth slam of the year. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira singled for his first hit of the season after coming off the disabled list a day earlier. ... Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury missed his second straight game because of tightness in his left groin. Farrell says he hasn't ruled out Ellsbury returning Sunday night. ... RHP Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73) is set to start for Boston in the series finale vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (6-3, 2.39). ... The Yankees will host a day-night doubleheader (1:05 p.m./7:05 p.m.) on Aug. 20 against Toronto to make up for a rainout on May 19. ... Bernando LaPallo, who says at 111 that he's the oldest Yankees fan, was on the dirt near the dugout during batting practice and injured star Derek Jeter came over to greet him. "Hit some home runs," LaPallo told Jeter. "I got to start playing first," the All-Star answered. Born on Aug, 17, 1901, LaPallo says he first saw the team in person when it was called the Highlanders and played at Hilltop Park, its home until 1912. LaPallo says he met Babe Ruth even before he played for the Yankees or Red Sox.