The Red Sox drew first blood last night, defeating the Yankees 6-4 to pull into a first place tie in the American League East standings. Boston will go for the series win tonight with veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on the mound. This evening's game is scheduled for a 7:05p.m. ET start at Yankee Stadium; it will be broadcast live on ESPN. Sports Betting Odds have New York listed as a -135 moneyline favorite and the game total set at 10 (Over -120).
Boston won its fourth straight game yesterday, improving to 34-26 on the season in the process. The Red Sox took out the Yankees 6-4 after blasting New York starter Freddy Garcia for four hits and four earned runs in the first 1 2/3 innings.
Terry Francona's squad managed just three hits the rest of the game, but a solid performance from starter Jon Lester and the bullpen enabled Boston to hold on for the win. Lester was not spectacular, but he did earn a quality start after giving up three earned runs in six innings of work. The Red Sox relief crew was nearly flawless, giving up one hit and one earned run in three innings.
The Yankees, which finished the game with nine hits, including three from Jorge Posada, fell to 33-25 with yesterday's loss. The setback represented New York's sixth loss of the season (seven games) to the Red Sox.
The Yanks will look to rebound tonight against Wakefield, who has pitched a total of 246 innings opposite New York. The 18 year veteran has not turned in his best work in 56 career appearances against the Yankees, posting an 11-17 record with a 4.90 ERA.
Wakefield's last outing did not go well as he yielded seven hits and four earned runs over six innings in a 4-7 loss to the White Sox. However, he has produced some decent numbers this season while splitting time between the rotation and bullpen. He enters tonight's contest with a 2-1 record, 4.40 ERA, and 1.19 WHIP (43 innings, five starts).
Yankees' Skipper Joe Girardi will counter Wakefield with veteran right hander A.J. Burnett. Burnett, who is 5-3 with a 4.79 ERA in 15 starts against the Red Sox, is coming off a stellar performance in Oakland. The 34 year old went seven innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs in a 4-2 New York victory for his sixth quality start of the season.
Red Sox vs Yankees MLB Odds June 8, 2011:
Boston Red Sox +1.5 (-165), Over 10 (-120), +115 (Moneyline)
New York Yankees -1.5 (+145), Under 10 (+100), -135 (Moneyline)