After pushing across just one run in a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Yankees to snap a two-game winning streak on Friday, the Red Sox will look to bounce back against Masahiro Tanaka and the Bronx Bombers on Saturday night.
Opposing Tanaka for the Sox will be veteran right-hander Zack Godley in what will be his first major-league start since last June.
The 30-year-old initially signed a minor-league deal with Boston late last month after getting cut loose from the Tigers and made his 2020 debut this past Monday, working four scoreless innings of relief against the Mets.
That effort earned Godley a spot in the Sox’ starting rotation, as he’ll be taking over for left-hander Josh Osich this time through. He has never pitched inside Yankee Stadium before, and has only pitched against the Yankees once before in his six-year career, which came as a reliever for the Blue Jays last August.
In what will be their first game of August 2020, here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Godley and against Tanaka to begin things on Saturday.
Among the notable things to point out here, a slumping J.D. Martinez will start this one on the bench in favor of Kevin Pillar. Martinez owns a lifetime 1.226 OPS in 23 career at-bats against Tanaka, but seeing how he is 2-for-23 over his last six games, perhaps Sox manager Ron Roenicke felt it was best to give the slugger a day off.
Mitch Moreland is back starting at first and batting fifth after missing the last two games on account of sore legs that were “just barking from being on them a lot.”
Christian Vazquez, Alex Verdugo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. follow the veteran first baseman, while Tzu-Wei Lin makes his first start of the season at second base and bats ninth.
Among these nine hitters, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts have seen Tanaka the best, as they are a combined 29-for-87 (.333) off the Yankees right-hander with five home runs and 11 RBI between them.
If the Red Sox want to win their fourth game of the season on Saturday, it will be imperative that they score more than the 3.7 runs per game they have averaged since embarking on this seven-game road trip on Tuesday.
First pitch against the Yankees Saturday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on FOX and WEEI.