Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/20/13
Hiroki Kuroda (8-6, 2.65 ERA) gets the ball against John Lackey (7-6, 2.78 ERA) in the late matinee against Boston. You can make a case that Kuroda was snubbed from the All Star Game; his ERA is the second lowest in the AL behind Felix Hernandez. He hasn’t allowed a run in 12 July innings but is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA against the Sox this year. Lackey has been Boston’s best pitcher over the last month, and he hopes to continue that trend against the Yankees. Opponents are hitting just .236 against him this season. In his last start, he held the A’s to just three hits and two runs over seven innings. After Friday’s 4-2 victory, the Red Sox have won nine of their last 10 and 13 of their last 16 games at Fenway Park, and they’ve won their past eight home series. That doesn’t mean they’re taking the Yankees lightly this weekend, though. “We know they’re going to be competitive and field a good team,” Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “It’s not going to be your normal games, but we still got to take it as if it was.” The Yankees look nothing like the Yankees since they have so many big names on the DL, and the team knows they have to step up until they can get the playmakers back. “We know we’re in fourth place, and we want to get back the pieces that we’re missing in the lineup. We want to get our guys back,” Robinson Cano said. “It’s going to make a big difference. We know those guys have been here a long time.” In the series opener last night the team did what they do best this season, sent another player to the DL. Zoilo Almonte suffered a sprained left ankle and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Outfielder Thomas Neal is the most likely candidate to replace him on the roster, but no official announcement has been made yet. Game kicks off at 4:05 PM (EST) on Fox
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