Red Sox-Yankees Preview
NEW YORK -- David Price's last appearance at Yankee Stadium was not a pleasant experience.
A little over two months ago, Price allowed six runs, was unable to get through the fifth inning and departed his seventh start with the Boston Red Sox with an unsightly 6.75 ERA.
Since then, things have gone better for Price and he hopes to continue that trend Sunday night when the Red Sox conclude a three-game series with the New York Yankees.
Since struggling in New York two months ago, Price is 4-5 but has a 3.12 ERA in his last 12 starts. In his last three starts he has a 2.82 ERA and 30 strikeouts over his last 22 1/3 innings.
Price went into the All-Star break by pitching eight outstanding innings in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay last Sunday.
He recorded his league-leading seventh game with double-digit strikeouts and joined Pedro Martinez (Aug. 1999) and Rich Hill (Sept. 2015) as the only Boston pitchers to have three straight starts of allowing one walk and getting double-digit strikeouts.
"I was never discouraged," Price said. "I never lost confidence in my abilities, and I know my coaching staff and my teammates didn't either."
Price has 36 career games of double-digit strikeouts, but the only one against the Yankees came Aug. 5, 2014 with Detroit.
It was one of the 33 times he has faced the Yankees. In those games, Price is 14-8 with a 4.34 ERA and has a 8-3 record with a 3.64 ERA in New York.
Boston hasn't completed a three-game sweep of the Yankees in New York since June 7-9, 2011.
The Red Sox also can get their first-three game sweep in New York in a series played after the All-Star break since Sept. 10-11, 1999, a weekend highlighted by Martinez's 17-strikeout game.
The Red Sox ran their winning streak to a season-high six straight games with Saturday's 5-2 victory. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched seven solid innings in his return from the minors and backup catcher Sandy Leon hit a three-run home run off CC Sabathia.
Masahiro Tanaka will be pitching on six days rest for the Yankees and numbers indicate better performances with more days off. Tanaka is 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 10 starts with more than four days off and 1-2 with a 5.33 in his other eight.
His last start before the All-Star break was in last Sunday's 11-7 win at Cleveland when Tanaka allowed a season-high seven runs (three earned) and 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision.
Tanaka is 4-2 with a 4.79 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox. He did not get a decision April 29 in Boston when he allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings during a 4-2 loss.
Sunday will be the first time Tanaka and Price have opposed each other and a loss for the Yankees will mark the first time since Aug. 30, 1995 when they were 56-59.
"It's definitely not what you want," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's got to turn around tomorrow. This is probably as important (a) game that we've had in July in a long time tomorrow."
Alex Rodriguez will likely be in the lineup Sunday, marking the first time in nearly three weeks he has started three straight games. He is 1-for-7 in the first two games and is batting .218.
Rodriguez is 16-for-63 (.254) with two home runs and eight RBI against Price. He was 2-for-4 with a home run off Price on May 1 in Boston and landed on the disabled list May 7.