Yankees-Red Sox Preview
BOSTON -- Alex Rodriguez's numbers at Fenway Park are nothing short of prolific, but the same can't be said for Michael Pineda.
As the 41-year-old Rodriguez prepares for what appears to be his final game against the Red Sox as a member of the New York Yankees at Boston on Thursday, the 27-year-old Pineda is hoping to reverse his Fenway fortunes.
Pineda (6-10, 5.17 ERA) is 3-3 with a 4.20 ERA in six career starts at Fenway, and 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 10 starts against the Red Sox overall.
The right-hander's last against Boston came July 15, when he gave up five runs on five hits -- including three home runs -- while lasting just five innings in a defeat.
Mookie Betts is 6-for-20 (.300) against Pineda with two homers and four RBIs, while David Ortiz is 5-for-22 (.227) with a homer, two RBIs and six strikeouts.
However, Pineda may not have to face either Thursday.
Betts left the Wednesday game before the start of the eighth inning with right calf tightness, and he is doubtful to play in the series finale, Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Ortiz, meanwhile, fouled a pitch off his right shin in the ninth inning and had to be helped off the field. X-rays were negative, and Ortiz was present in the clubhouse and seemingly in good spirits after Boston's 9-4 loss to New York.
"Anytime you lose a guy that's going to the Hall of Fame, that's going to hurt pretty bad," Betts said of Ortiz. "Hopefully he can get well."
As for Rodriguez, who announced in a press conference Sunday that he would play his final game with the Yankees on Friday in New York before being released, he will get one more crack at Fenway on Thursday.
Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup for the first two games of the series, a move that Yankees manager Joe Giradi defended before Wednesday's game despite his earlier comments that Rodriguez would dictate his playing time this week.
"My job description does not entail farewell tours," Girardi said.
However, Girardi did have Rodriguez pinch-hit for Aaron Hicks with two runners on and no outs in the seventh inning, with the Yankees trailing 4-1. Rodriguez flied out to right.
"There are certain situations that I'm going to use him as a pinch hitter, and I liked it," Girardi said. "I was looking for a three-run homer, and I went to him."
Rodriguez is a lifetime .287 hitter with 29 home runs and 88 RBIs in 132 games at Fenway.
New York lost starter Nathan Eovaldi after he threw just 12 pitches Wednesday. The initial diagnosis was right elbow discomfort, but he flew back to New York for further evaluation.
"It's frustrating, it's concerning, but we really won't know anything until probably (Thursday) night," Girardi said.
Boston had a pitching setback of its own Wednesday, announcing that scheduled Thursday starter Steven Wright was being skipped due to right shoulder inflammation.
The knuckleballer sustained the injury while sliding into second base as a pinch runner during Sunday's game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
There is no timetable for Wright's return, although he was not immediately placed on the disabled list.
Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.93 ERA) will start in Wright's place. The southpaw has pitched well against the Yankees in his young career, going 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in five starts against them.
He last faced them on July 16, holding New York to one run on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in seven inning. He earned the victory.
Jacoby Ellsbury is 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs and two RBIs against Rodriguez, while Brett Gardner (3-for-10, .300) and Alex Rodriguez (5-for-13, .385, three RBIs) also have taken him deep.