New York (63-38) at Boston (60-42)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 47° F
  • Game info: 1:15 pm EDT Sat Jul 26, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mike Mussina has excelled at Fenway Park during his career, while John Burkett has never beaten the New York Yankees in nine regular season starts.

The veteran right-handers will square off when the AL East-leading Yankees continue a three-game series with the second-place Boston Red Sox.

Mussina, who boasts a 16-11 mark with a 3.04 ERA in his career against Boston, has been even better at Fenway, going 10-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 18 starts. He came within one strike of tossing a perfect game at Boston in September 2001, and tossed a three-hit shutout in his last Fenway outing on Aug. 28, 2002.

This will be Mussina’s first start in Boston this year.

Burkett is 0-6 with a 9.66 ERA against the Yankees during the regular season. His only career win against New York came in Game 1 of the 1996 AL division series as a member of the Texas Rangers.

Burkett’s futility against the Yankees continued in New York on July 6. He was reached for four runs and a season-high 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 7-1 loss.

Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox in Friday’s series opener.

Boston rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth on Jason Varitek’s two-out RBI single off Mariano Rivera, but New York’s closer wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth to improve to 5-0 on the season.

The Yankees have won three straight from the Red Sox, opening a 3 1/2 -game lead in the division.

Closer Byung-Hyun Kim took the loss for Boston, which had dropped two straight since a five-game winning streak.

STANDINGS: Yankees - 1st place, AL East. Red Sox - 2nd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL East.

YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Mussina (11-6, 3.30 ERA). Mussina ended a three-start winless streak Sunday, allowing three runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-4 victory over Cleveland. He is 5-3 with a 4.56 ERA in eight road starts this season.

RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Burkett (8-4, 5.25 ERA). Burkett has won consecutive starts since his last loss in New York, including Monday’s 14-5 rout of Detroit. He yielded three runs and eight hits over five innings, striking out four and walking one. Burkett is 3-3 with a 5.74 ERA in 10 starts at Fenway this season.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Yankees - Hideki Matsui, .297 avg.; Jason Giambi, 28 HRs and 79 RBIs; Alfonso Soriano, 78 runs and 27 SBs. Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .333 avg.; Manny Ramirez, 24 HRs and 78 RBIs; Nomar Garciaparra, 82 runs; Johnny Damon, 19 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Yankees, 7-4.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Yankees - RHP Rivera has converted 19 of 21 saves this season. Prior to Friday, his only previous blown save came on May 28 against Boston in New York. He also picked up a win in that contest as the Yankees pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. … Newly acquired LHP Jesse Orosco made his first Yankee appearance Friday, retiring the only two batters he faced, including a strikeout of OF Damon with the bases loaded to end the sixth. … The Yankees activated 1B Nick Johnson from the disabled list Friday. He had missed 61 games due to a stress fracture in his right hand. Red Sox - RHP Kim, who blew a pair of saves against the Yankees during the 2001 World Series as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is 0-2 in three appearances against New York since becoming Boston’s closer last month. … OF Ramirez is hitting just .180 (11-for-61) with two homers, nine RBIs and 16 strikeouts in his career against RHP Mussina. … RHP Burkett is 2-2 with a 7.01 ERA in five day starts this season.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Yankees - 33-17 on the road; Red Sox - 33-16 at home.

INJURIES: Yankees - RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL. Red Sox - RHP Robert Person (hip), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Mussina NYY vs. J. Burkett Bos
17-8 Record 12-9
3.40 ERA 5.15
195 K 107
40 BB 47
1.08 WHIP 1.37