Red Sox-Yankees Preview

The Associated Press

Whether at Fenway Park or in the Bronx, the New York Yankees continue to pile up the runs against the rival Boston Red Sox.

That likely doesn't bode well for Jon Lester.

While CC Sabathia looks to continue his recent run of success, Lester hopes to avoid a fourth consecutive losing start Saturday against the Yankees.

After New York (60-39) batted .319 and totaled 49 runs to win five of the first six against Boston this season - all at Fenway - the Yankees rolled to a 10-3 home win over the Red Sox on Friday. Curtis Granderson had three hits, including a grand slam, and Ichiro Suzuki went 1 for 4 with two runs scored in his home debut for New York, which is off to its best start versus Boston since opening 6-0 in 1994.

Losers in six of seven, the last-place Red Sox (49-51) are 11 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees. Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez each hit two-run homers as New York scored at least 10 runs for the third time against Boston in 2012.

"We're two games under .500," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who homered and two RBIs. "We've got to play better, now.''

Granderson, who has homered in two of the last three games, is 10 for 25 against the Red Sox this season.

Suzuki, 4 for 16 in four games since being traded to New York earlier this week, was warmly welcomed by his new home fans.

"It has been a while since this type of experience,'' said Suzuki, who has homered for two of his eight hits in 29 at-bets versus Lester.

The veteran outfielder will be another concern in the potent Yankee lineup for Lester (5-8, 5.46 ERA), who has allowed 22 runs, 25 hits, five homers and 10 walks while losing three consecutive starts. He gave up career-high 11 runs, four homers and five walks in four innings of a 15-7 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

"I'm not doing my job,'' Lester said. "It's embarrassing. That's all I can really say about it.''

Though Lester has not won since June 27, his Boston teammates are doing all they can to support the left-hander during a rough stretch that began with a 7-3 loss to New York on July 8 in which he allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings.

"Basically just telling him that we have his back,'' Pedroia said.

Lester was 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA in nine starts in the Bronx before he was roughed up for eight runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 9-1 loss there Sept. 24.

Making his first appearance against the Red Sox this season, Sabathia (10-3, 3.30) has allowed six runs over 6 2-3 innings in each of his last two starts versus Boston at Yankee Stadium - both losses.

Sabathia, however, is 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA in his last five starts overall, a stretch interrupted by a three-week stint on the disabled list with a groin strain. After he threw six scoreless innings against Toronto on July 17 in his first start since coming off the DL, the left-hander gave up three runs and two homers over seven innings of a 5-4, 12-inning loss at Oakland on Sunday.

Batting .319 against Sabathia, Carl Crawford homered in the opener for his only hit in 18 at-bats over his last five games.

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