CC looks for a turnaround vs. Red Sox

CC Sabathia

The Yankees and Red Sox will play the second game of this three-game series today, with CC Sabathia taking on Eduardo Rodriguez in a match-up of left-handed pitchers.

Sabathia is looking to turn around a stretch that has seen him surrender at least five runs in each of his previous four starts.

“I know what’s inside of him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m sure that a couple of extra days helped him, and I look forward to his start today.”

Boston took the series opener, 5-3, on Friday behind a trio of home runs off Michael Pineda and a solid effort from knuckleballer Steven Wright.

At 44-45, the Yankees are under .500 following the All-Star break for the first time since Sept. 5, 1995 – the day that Cal Ripken Jr. tied Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games played.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS

Pineda gives up 3 HRs during loss to Boston
Beltran 4th switch-hitter to reach 1,500 RBIs
A-Rod practicing to become first-base option
Yanks stumble to open crucial homestand

“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”

CLUBHOUSE REPORT

A-Rod returns to the cleanup spot this afternoon, as Girardi hopes that he will be able to take advantage of the left-hander on the hill for Boston. Rodriguez has a .791 OPS against lefties this year, compared to .568 against righties. With A-Rod also expected to play Sunday against David Price, it will mark three games in a row for him.

“I hope it gets him going,” Girardi said. “Obviously that’s your hope. I’ve been playing him against left-handers. Against right-handers, we had the issue with Carlos (Beltran) and I was choosing to do it that way. I’ll make some decisions next week what I’m going to do, but you hope that he has two big days for us here.”

THEY SAID IT

“First base is a lot more challenging than I think people give it credit to. For me, it’s the most underrated part of a defensive team. If you look at the work that (Mark) Teixeira has done for over a decade … you affect every infielder. You affect the outfielders. Sometimes the catcher too. It’s an important position.” – Alex Rodriguez

STAT SO?

Sabathia is making his 100th career start at the new Yankee Stadium. He is 47-26 with a 3.62 ERA in the Bronx since joining New York in 2009, the first year of the stadium.

ON THIS DATE

2010: In a moving pre-game ceremony, the Yankees honor the memory of principal owner George M. Steinbrenner and public address announcer Bob Sheppard, both of whom passed away during the preceding week. Derek Jeter refers to the icons as “shining stars in the Yankees universe.”

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