Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/16/13
Friday night promises to be fraught with action as Alex Rodriguez returns to Fenway Park. But for anyone just looking for good baseball, a promising battle between lefties is on tap, too. The Red Sox and Yankees are opening their three-game series with two southpaws on the mound: veteran Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.62 ERA) for New York and second-year hurler Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66) for Boston. Aside from drawing out the usual right-handed lineups, the matchup also carries some symbolism for how the year has gone for both sides. The Yankees will look to a veteran to pull out some magic while the Red Sox will ride a young arm who has really hit his stride this season. Mike Napoli is back in the lineup for the Red Sox after a day off. He’s looking to finally shake his slump after finding his stroke Wednesday with a powerful home run that almost got the job done for the Sox. Jonny Gomes’ right-handed bat will also join the lineup. For the Yankees, Rodriguez is again the main draw. He’s at Fenway for the first time since returning to baseball after a long layoff due to offseason hip surgery. It’s also his first time back since he was suspended 211 games for his involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, a suspension he is now appealing. Red Sox fans, who have long enjoyed giving Rodriguez a hard time, will get their chance Friday night. Here are the rest of Friday night’s lineups for the Red Sox and Yankees. Red Sox (72-51) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Shane Victorino, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Jonny Gomes, LF Stephen Drew, SS Mike Napoli, 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Will Middlebrooks, 3B Felix Doubront, P Yankees (62-58) Brett Gardner, CF Eduardo Nunez, SS Robinson Cano, 2B Alfonso Soriano, LF Alex Rodriguez, 3B Vernon Wells, DH Ichiro Suzuki, RF Mark Reynolds, 1B Chris Stewart, C Andy Pettitte, P Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Eastern Bank Leading Off, Headlines

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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