The Yankees will try to avoid losing to Beckett for the third time in as many starts this season when they continue their four-game home series with the Red Sox on Friday.
New York (45-41) fell five games behind second-place Boston (51-37) in the AL East race with a 7-0 loss on Thursday. Both teams are chasing surprising division leader Tampa Bay, which is three games ahead of the Red Sox.
The Yankees have managed a total of four runs in their last four losses - a stretch interrupted only by an 18-7 rout of Texas on Wednesday. They couldn’t solve Jon Lester, who pitched a five-hitter for his second career shutout as Boston avoided a season-high sixth straight loss.
“We talk so much about when times are tough, but if we’re all going in the right direction together, it makes life for me a lot easier,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the team’s official Web site.
It was a different story for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who closed the clubhouse for a 30-minute meeting after the loss. He declined to give details on the late-night session.
“That’s between my team and me,” he said. “We did not play a good game. We didn’t do anything. We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch. We didn’t play a good game.”
New York will try to bounce back against Beckett (7-5, 3.65 ERA), who has won three straight starts against the Yankees and is 2-0 with a 3.68 ERA against them in two games this year. The right-hander also famously clinched the 2003 World Series with Florida in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium with a shutout on three days’ rest.
Beckett turned in a strong June for Boston, going 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in five outings. He gave up two runs over seven innings and did not get a decision on Sunday in a 3-2 loss at Houston.
The Red Sox have scored a total of three runs in Beckett’s last two starts, but they jumped on Yankees starter Andy Pettitte for four runs over the first two innings Thursday. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled in his first at-bat and scored the game’s first run as he extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The Yankees fell to 2-4 against the Red Sox this season as reigning AL MVP Rodriguez went 0-for-4 to drop to 5-for-25 (.200) with one RBI against Boston this year.
“It’s not just tonight,” said shortstop Derek Jeter, whose error in the first led to an unearned run. “We need to play better. Everyone realizes we’re capable of playing better.”
New York will turn to Darrell Rasner (4-6, 4.42), who hasn’t pitched past the fifth inning in four straight starts. Since he won his first three outings of the year, Rasner is 1-6 with a 5.68 ERA in his last seven.
The right-hander, who has never faced Boston, lasted five innings and gave up two runs on Sunday in a 3-1 road loss to the New York Mets.
Rasner is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in four starts at home this season.