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New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox: Domingo Germán vs. Tanner Houck

The Red Sox came away with first blood in the rivalry matchup — the Yankees look to even the series and force a Sunday rubber game.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Scheduling made it so that the Yankees and Red Sox wouldn’t meet until the second week of June, but they hit the ground running last night. The Red Sox won a 3-2 squeaker to open the weekend series, albeit with some ninth inning nail-biting on Kenley Jansen’s part. The pitch clock brought a refreshing pace to a matchup that invariably turned into a slog in years past.

Anthony Volpe was denied a walk-off home run by mere feet before popping out to end the game, wasting a quality start of over seven innings by Gerrit Cole. The Yankees deployed Jimmy Cordero, Albert Abreu, and Nick Ramirez Friday night, allowing the high-leverage bullpen corps to catch its breath after the Thursday doubleheader.

Domingo Germán is quietly putting together constructive sustained success the past month or so. He carries a 3.69 ERA, though a less impressive 4.34 FIP, suggesting some plausible luck. This could just be who Germán is, though — his ERA outperformed his FIP by almost a full run in 2022. Five days ago he battled the Dodgers’ lineup impressively, coming away with 6.2 innings with a solo home run as the only damage. With Luis Severino struggling and injured starters a way off, the Yankees need Germán to keep eating innings and turning in quality starts.

The Red Sox send sidewinding righty Tanner Houck to oppose Germán. He’s made 11 starts this year and sports an inflated 5.46 ERA. Boston’s starting rotation is struggling and just lost a resurgent Chris Sale for an extended period of time.

Both pitchers faced top-flight lineups in their last start — Houck’s last time out he threw five innings of four-run ball against the Rays, only surrendering four hits but walking four. The Red Sox aren’t a sound defensive ballclub, so it’s not surprising to see his FIP sitting lower than his ERA as well. This last-place Red Sox team hasn’t been able to build much momentum this year, and a series loss in the first set of the year against Boston would sting.

To try and avoid that outcome, the Yankees lineup looks similar to how it did in the series opener with a couple of tweaks. Billy McKinney patrols center field tonight and Isiah Kiner-Falefa sits against the righty Houck. A suddenly resurgent Josh Donaldson mans the second spot, while Kyle Higashioka gets the start behind the plate.

How to watch

Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY

First pitch: 7:35 pm ET

TV broadcast: FOX

Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9, WADO 1280

Online stream:

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