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Yanks need Pettitte's typical reliability

Yanks need Pettitte's typical reliability

BOSTON -- The tight quarters of the visitors' clubhouse at Fenway Park have taken on a funereal pall after the first two games of the weekend, with Yankees players shuffling about silently and preparing to make their exit after rough days at the office.

Arriving in Boston for their first meetings of the season with the Red Sox, the Yankees have found themselves turned away in deflating fashion. Mariano Rivera blew his first save opportunity of the year on Friday, and A.J. Burnett couldn't hold a six-run lead on Saturday in a contest that devolved into a 27-run, 28-hit slugfest between the American League East rivals.

Red Sox-Yankees

"They're definitely no fun," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The one thing that you can't do is you can't make too much out of it, because we've got a lot of baseball left to play this year. We've had some tough losses that we've had to endure this year, and we've bounced right back."

The refrain heard throughout baseball clubhouses for decades is that momentum is only as good as the next starting pitcher, something the Yankees would have been well-served to tell themselves as they walked out the dank concrete corridors of the ancient ballpark.

"They're tough losses," Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon said. "We feel like we could have been two games up on them right now instead of being two games back. I know it's early, but any chance you have to win a game, you need to win them. We've let two games slip by, and now we have to play catch-up."

"We want to put that behind us starting [Sunday]," second baseman Robinson Cano said. "It's only two games. There's still lots left in the season. We've got to forget about those two games and win the game tomorrow."

Battle-tested lefty Andy Pettitte will draw the assignment to avert a series sweep on Sunday, making his fourth start of the season and his 31st career start against the Red Sox. The Yankees have found the 37-year-old to be reliable this season, watching him throw at least seven innings in each of his first three starts -- the first time he has done that in his career.

New York will need Pettitte to step up and contain a Boston offense that has punished the Yankees' relievers in the first two games, including a six-RBI showing on Saturday from Mike Lowell, with all of the runs driven home in the seventh and eighth innings.

"They've got two big wins off of us so far, but we'll be ready to go tomorrow," Damon said. "Those guys are swinging the bats like they're capable of, and it's going to be tough to keep them down. They've got so many weapons there, and we do, too. If a team gets up 10 runs here early, it's not going to be safe. We just have to remember that."

Pitching matchup
NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 2.53 ERA)
Pettitte draws the call for his fourth start of the season as the Yankees complete a three-game series at Fenway Park. The veteran left-hander turned in a gritty outing his last time around, on Tuesday against the A's, limiting Oakland to two runs on nine hits while allowing every batter to put the ball in play -- he recorded no walks and no strikeouts. Pettitte relied on his two-seamer and a sharp curveball to master an Oakland team that threatened but managed to let Pettitte off the hook. Pettitte last faced the Red Sox last Aug. 26 at the old Yankee Stadium, allowing six runs on 10 hits in a 4 2/3-inning losing effort. Pettitte has a 6-2 career record with a 3.53 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) at Fenway Park.

BOS: RHP Justin Masterson (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
The lanky right-hander needed no adjustment time in his return to the Red Sox's rotation, firing 5 1/3 strong innings in a win over the Orioles on Monday. He gave up four hits and one run, walking two and striking out three. Masterson pitched five times against the Yankees last year, going 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA. In his first two seasons in the Majors, Masterson has held opponents to a .221 average. He has yet to give up a homer this season.

Tidbits
Saturday marked the Yankees' largest lead blown since a seven-run lead was lost on June 17, 2006, against the Nationals in Washington, D.C. New York led that game, 9-2, going into the bottom of the fifth and lost, 11-9. ... Shortstop Derek Jeter notched his fourth straight multihit game on Saturday, going 2-for-4. ... Outfielder Nick Swisher has reached base in all 17 of his games played this season. ... Cano finished Saturday's game 3-for-6 with a double, two home runs and a career-high five RBIs. It marked his fourth career two-homer game, the last coming on Aug. 30, 2007, against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. ... First baseman Mark Teixeira's five walks on Saturday were the most by a Yankees batter in a game since Roger Maris drew five walks in a 12-inning game against the Angels on May 22, 1962. It was the seventh time a Yankees player has walked five times in a nine-inning game, a club record. The last player to do it was Hersh Martin on Sept. 1, 1945, at Washington.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• ESPN

On radio
• WCBS 880, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Yankees (CC Sabathia, 1-1, 4.81) at Tigers (Justin Verlander, 0-2, 9.00), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Yankees (TBD) at Tigers (Edwin Jackson, 1-1, 2.77), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 0-0, 3.94) at Tigers (Rick Porcello, 1-2, 4.50), 7:05 p.m. ET

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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