Boston Red Sox (92-66) at New York Yankees (82-76)
Thursday, September 29 - 7:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
The New York Yankees won't be making a trip to the playoffs this season, but at least they successfully muted the rival Boston Red Sox's American League East-clinching celebration. The Yankees will go for a three-game sweep when they host the Red Sox in the series finale on Thursday.
Boston took a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning on Wednesday and learned during the frame that they had clinched the East by virtue of Toronto's loss to the Baltimore Orioles, and immediately the lead evaporated. Closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a hit and three walks before Joe Kelly came on and surrendered a walk-off home run to Mark Teixeira, but the Red Sox still found a way to spray each other with champagne in the visiting clubhouse after manager John Farrell implored the team to not let one bad inning take away from what it had accomplished. Teixeira is down to his final few games in the majors after announcing his impending retirement earlier this season and provided one more signature moment with the walk-off blast. New York has won three straight games and assured itself of a winning record with Wednesday's triumph.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Henry Owens (0-1, 7.79 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.02)
Owens will get the nod in place of lefty Drew Pomeranz, who is enduring forearm soreness and is hoping to get back to a bullpen role for the postseason. Owens had a chance to earn a spot in the Boston rotation earlier this season but struggled with his control in four starts, issuing 18 walks in 17 1/3 total innings. Owens' lone quality start in the bunch came against New York on April 29, when he allowed two runs on six hits and three walks in six innings without factoring in the decision.
Sabathia has gone six straight starts without a win and did not factor in the decision in any on his last four turns. The hefty veteran breezed through seven scoreless innings at Toronto on Saturday - scattering four hits - but could not get any support in a game the Yankees went on to lose 3-0. Sabathia started at Boston on Sept. 18 and was reached for four runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings, bringing his total to 17 hits allowed in 10 1/3 innings against the Red Sox this season.
1. Red Sox C Sandy Leon is 3-for-39 over his last 12 games.
2. New York RHP Adam Warren has allowed at least one run in four of his last six appearances.
3. Departing Boston DH David Ortiz is 0-for-9 with three strikeouts in his final series at Yankee Stadium.
PREDICTION: Yankees 8, Red Sox 2