Red Sox-Yankees doesn’t hold the same luster as it typically does considering the Sox are well below .500 on the season and the Yankees’ 2014 record is decidedly average as they sit in the middle of a mediocre AL East.
But the three games between the two old rivals in the Bronx this weekend does hold some intrigue. This is the first series in which the Sox and Yanks will meet since the three-game set at Fenway in which New York starter Michael Pineda was tossed from the game in the second inning on a Wednesday night in April for using a foreign substance (believed to be pine tar).
Pineda won’t pitch in the series in New York. In fact, he hasn’t pitched since the “pine tar game” and isn’t due back in the Yankees’ rotation until August due to a shoulder strain.
The Yankees have had the definition of a roller-coaster month, losing three in a row to open June, then winning two in a row, losing two in a row, winning four in a row, losing two in a row and winning another four in a row before losing four prior to Wednesday night’s game in Toronto.
Vidal Nuno (1-4, 5.88 ERA) will look to reverse New York’s recent fortunes Friday (7 p.m., NESN) while Brandon Workman (1-0, 2.88 ERA) will get the ball for the Sox.
In the marquee pitching matchup of the weekend, Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) with square off with the Yanks’ new ace, Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) on Saturday (FOX, 7:15 p.m.)
John Lackey (8-5, 3.45 ERA) will look to rebound from a rough outing as he gets the ball in the series finale Sunday (8 p.m., ESPN). Chase Whitley (3-1, 4.07 ERA) will start for the Yankees.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS