CC Sabathia used a Caribbean vacation to get away from baseball during the All-Star break.
He’ll be back on the mound in a place that has been unkind to him since he joined the New York Yankees.
Sabathia will try to avoid losing three straight starts with the Yankees for the first time in Sunday night’s road game against the Boston Red Sox.
The left-hander’s run of three straight All-Star appearances came to an end this year. Sabathia (9-8, 4.07 ERA) went into the break with two straight defeats, and hasn’t dropped three in a row since April 5-16, 2008, with Cleveland.
He was in St. Barts island in the Caribbean over this break.
“I didn’t see anything about baseball,” he told the Yankees’ official website. “It was actually refreshing to be able to get away and relax. It was the first time I’d done that in a while. I feel good.”
Sabathia allowed eight runs - three earned - over four innings in last Sunday’s 10-4 loss to Minnesota. He will try to bounce back at Fenway Park, where he is 2-3 in seven starts with a 5.44 ERA - his highest in any stadium in which he has pitched more than once since joining the Yankees.
He’s 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against Boston this year. Dustin Pedroia went 4 for 6 against him in those games and Jose Iglesias was 4 for 5.
David Ortiz is 0 for 3 versus Sabathia this year to drop to 6 for 34 with 12 strikeouts in their matchups since 2009.
Sabathia was originally scheduled to face Jon Lester in a rematch from opening day, but Lester was pushed back to Tuesday to give him some extra rest.
Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.24) will start instead as he looks to bounce back from his last outing July 11 when he gave up seven runs over 3 1-3 innings in an 8-7, 10-inning victory at Seattle.
Dempster is 0-5 with a 7.29 ERA in six starts against New York (52-45), including 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in three over the last three seasons.
The right-hander has limited Robinson Cano to a double in six at-bats while Brett Gardner is 2 for 6 against him.
Cano enters with a .389 average during an 11-game hitting streak while Gardner was one of three Yankees with three hits that helped key Saturday’s 5-2 victory that evened this series.
Boston (59-40) had a five-game home win streak snapped. Jacoby Ellsbury went 0 for 4 after hitting .396 over his previous 23 games.
Stephen Drew went 0 for 2 with a walk in his first action in over a month after being out with a hamstring injury. Manager John Farrell said he would likely not start Drew on Sunday since the shortstop is hitting .183 against left-handers.
Shane Victorino sat out Saturday after leaving Friday’s 4-2 victory with left hamstring tightness. Farrell said before Saturday’s game that Victorino “felt better than I think he expected to feel” and that the manager “expect(s) him back in the lineup (Sunday).”