The Boston Red Sox will try to distance themselves even further from the New York Yankees in the American League East this evening, when baseball's fiercest rivalry resumes at Yankee Stadium.
Hoping to keep the Red Sox on the winning track tonight will be Japanese righty Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has beaten the Yankees both times he has faced them this season. However, he pitched to a 6.92 earned run average in those contests.
Matsuzaka is winless in his last three starts and steps to the mound tonight on the heels of back-to-back losses to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. "Dice-K" pitched well enough to win his last start on Wednesday, but surrendered two runs and two hits in six innings of a 2-1 loss at Tropicana Field. He is 13-10 with a 3.76 ERA this season.
Since breaking into the league in 1995, Pettitte is 104-42 after the All-Star break with a 3.46 ERA in 184 games (182 starts).
Pettitte, who has not given up more than three runs in any of his last nine starts, is 1-1 with a 5.01 ERA in five games (four starts) against the Red Sox this season.
The Yankees could use a big start from Pettitte after losing three of four to the Detroit Tigers, including a 16-0 drubbing in Monday's series finale at
Mike Mussina started for
Johnny Damon, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera had the only hits of the game for the Yankees, who finished a seven-game road trip with just two wins but still only trail the Seattle Mariners by two games for the AL wild card.