Facing the prospect of yet another series loss to their rivals, the New York Yankees found new life late and pulled out a surprising comeback win on the road against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
Now the Yankees look to capitalize on a chance to salvage a series split -- and build some much-needed momentum -- as they visit the Red Sox in the finale of a four-game series on Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 3-0 in the eighth inning, the Yankees used four straight two-out hits to score four runs and avoid a 10th loss in the season series against the Red Sox in a 4-3 win on Saturday.
New York dropped the first two games of the series, but has now won three of its past five against the Red Sox after dropping its first seven meetings with Boston.
"We've had more than our share of gut punches here in the last month or so. To the guys' credit, they keep getting off the mat," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "They keep fighting. Hasn't been easy, hasn't been pretty -- but we're in the fight."
The eighth-inning collapse was the biggest lead relinquished by Boston in a loss this season and snapped the team's four-game winning streak.
"It's a tough one -- that's baseball, right?" Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It's not like (we lost on) a three-run homer, but that's how it works. Sometimes it works to your advantage, and (on Saturday) it didn't work to our advantage."
Red Sox left-hander Martin Perez (7-6, 4.16 ERA) will look to pitch the hosts to a series victory opposite Yankees right-hander Domingo German (4-5, 4.71 ERA).
Perez will be hoping for a better result after taking the loss in a 9-1 defeat last Sunday at New York. The southpaw allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts over four innings.
Earlier this season, Perez helped pitch the Red Sox to a 5-3 win against the Yankees at home on June 25. He was charged with three runs -- none of them earned -- while allowing six hits, walking two and striking out three.
Despite pitching well against the Yankees this season, Perez is just 2-4 with a 7.04 ERA in nine career starts against New York.
German has had mixed results in two outings against the Red Sox this season.
He tossed a scoreless seventh inning of relief in a 4-0 home loss to Boston on July 16. On June 25 opposite Perez, German surrendered four runs (three earned) on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in four innings.
German has struggled against the Red Sox, going 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in nine career appearances (seven starts).
New York might be without first baseman Chris Gittens on Sunday after he rolled his ankle on an inning-ending groundout in the eighth inning Saturday. Boone said Gittens had X-rays late Saturday.
Former All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez could also remain sidelined for the Yankees. He sat out Saturday following a flare-up of back spasms that caused him to exit Friday's game after the fifth inning.
--Field Level Media