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NEW YORK — The Boston Red Sox are trying to secure their third straight American League East title while the New York Yankees are preventing it from happening and auditioning potential starting pitchers for the wild-card game.So far Frank Robinson Jersey , the Yankees are 2-for-2 in keeping the champagne in storage for their rivals and New York will try to complete the sweep and keep the Red Sox from clinching Thursday night in the finale of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.“We don’t want them to celebrate here and we’re going to do everything we can to not do that,” New York’s Neil Walker said Tuesday.Article continues below ...Walker was responsible for putting the celebration on hold Tuesday by hitting a go-ahead three-run homer off Ryan Brasier in the seventh inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 win. On Wednesday, it was Luke Voit homering in consecutive at-bats off David Price in New York’s 10-1 win.Besides the power resulting in the Yankees tying their single-season record of 245 homers, the first two games can be viewed as part of the competition for who starts Oct. 3. New York’s J.A. Happ allowed an unearned run in six innings Tuesday and Luis Severino followed it by pitching seven innings of one-run ball to win his 18th game on Wednesday.“We’re going to fight to the end,” Severino said. “It doesn’t matter what the score says. They’re going to win 100-something games. We’re going to be behind them. We’re going to grind to the end and every game from here now we’re going to fight to the end.”On Wednesday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone seemed to drop a hint about who might pitch in a wild-card game, and it appears Masahiro Tanaka, who starts Thursday, could be deployed for that start. “We’ve started to talk about it a little bit in earnest the last few days in about where we’re at, what we’re thinking, possibilities and then how these next dozen games or so http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-ubaldo-jimenez-jersey , whatever we have left, how they play out and how the rotation falls a little bit will all factor into our decision as to who we would pitch in a wild-card scenario, who would we pitch if we were moving on,” Boone said. “Those are things we’re starting to have conversations about and I would say that these next 12 days will play a role in that.”Tanaka enters the audition armed with a 12-5 record and a 3.47 ERA but, more importantly, on a roll. He has won his last three starts and is working on a 20-inning scoreless streak, which is just shy of the 21 1/3-inning scoreless run Tanaka put together from July 15-Aug. 5.Tanaka also has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 11 starts, posting a 2.15 ERA in that span. Equally important, he has allowed just six homers in his last 71 innings.The right-hander last pitched in Friday’s 11-0 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays when he allowed four hits in six innings.Tanaka is 8-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 17 career starts against the Red Sox and 1-0 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts this season against Boston.The Red Sox (103-49) have lost their third series in the last 22 since the start of July and are trying to avoid three straight losses for the fourth time this year and first instance since Aug. 24-26.“It’s disappointing because what we set to do every series is to win it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We don’t have a chance to win the series. We’ll show up tomorrow. We know what’s at stake. We’ll try to win a game and make it a happy flight.”Boston has managed three runs in the two games to fall to 2-6 at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox are hitting .244 (129-for-530) this month, with a few hitters slumping of late.Andrew Benintendi is in a 2-for-15 slide http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-joey-rickard-jersey , Xander Bogaerts is in a 2-for-14 slump while Mookie Betts has one hit in his last 12 at-bats. Betts went 0-for-4 with a walk as the designated hitter Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday to rest his left side.“There’s a few guys struggling and we’ve faced some good pitching too,” Cora said. “It’s a combination of both. I do think that sometimes we get too passive at the plate. We’re taking too many pitches right in the middle.”Eduardo Rodriguez will make his fourth start since returning from a sprained right ankle that cost him 39 games. Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA since returning but allowed one run on five hits in six innings a week ago in a no-decision against TorontoRodriguez is 12-4 with a 3.53 ERA. He began the season 3-0 with a 5.29 ERA but is 9-4 with a 2.89 ERA in his last 16.In 11 career starts against the Yankees, Rodriguez is 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA. This year, he is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts versus New York. The Boston Red Sox had a dry spell of 86 years between World Series titles when they finally won in 2004, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals and never trailing in the four-game series.That 2004 triumph came after a series of heartbreaking losses in the Fall Classic. They had lost a pair of heartbreaking seven-game World Series decisions to the Cardinals in 1946 and 1967, and Boston dropped perhaps the most famous World Series when they fell in seven games to the Cincinnati Reds in 1975.That Cincinnati team is considered one of the sport's all-time great teams, as the team from the Queen City featured catcher Johnny Bench, second baseman Joe Morgan, hit king Pete Rose, RBI boss Tony Perez and superb outfielder Ken Griffey Sr.That series featured Carlton Fisk's famous game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 and it took a ninth-inning bloop single in the seventh game by Morgan to give the Reds the winning margin.While the Sox could hold their heads up high after putting up a battle against Sparky Anderson's team, the 1986 World Series loss to the New York Mets was the most painful of all. Boston held a 3-2 series lead and were two runs ahead in the bottom of the 10th with two outs and nobody on base Pedro Alvarez Jersey , but the Mets came back to win that game and take the seventh game in come-from-behind fashion.But since that brutal defeat, the World Series has been their personal playground. In addition to their '04 sweep of the Cardinals, they swept the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and beat St. Louis again in six games in 2013.With a 2-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are 14-2 in World Series games since 2004.Boston is going to try to stretch that record to 15-2 on Friday when they confront the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by Fox.Mookie Betts hopes to set the tone for Boston in Game 3.David J. Phillip/Associated Press World Series ScheduleTuesday: Boston 8, Los Angeles 4Wednesday: Boston 4, Los Angeles 2; Boston leads 2-0.Friday: Red Sox at Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ETSaturday: Red Sox at Dodgers, 8:09 p.m. ETSunday (if necessary): Red Sox at Dodgers, 8:15 p.m. ETOctober 30 (if necessary): Dodgers at Red Sox, 8:09 p.m. ETOctober 31 (if necessary): Dodgers at Red Sox http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-beckham-jersey , 8:09 p.m. ETAll World Series games will be televised by Fox.Live Stream:Fox Sports GoThe Red Sox are 5-0 on the road in this postseason, having won two games at Yankee Stadium and three at Minute Maid Park in Houston.Playing on the road has agreed with Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr. Martinez has a sore ankle from an awkward turn around second base in Game 1, and his status has not been determined.The Dodgers are hoping the change in venue can help them turn things around in the series. While the Red Sox have excelled at getting a clutch two-out hit, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts has seen his team struggle in that area.The Red Sox will send right-hander Rick Porcello to the mound to try to keep the Dodgers bats quiet, but he may have a more difficult time than southpaw David Price did in Game 2. The Dodgers are going to use their left-handed bats to try to get their power game going.Max Muncy hopes to get his power bat going in Game 3 for the Dodgers.Harry How/Getty ImagesThe Dodgers had seven batters with 21 or more home runs in the regular season, and they were led by Max Muncy's 35. Muncy will be in the lineup against Porcello, and so will Cody Bellinger, who homered in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series and won the MVP award.The Dodgers will counter with hard-throwing Walker Buehler Anthony Santander Jersey , who was on the mound in Milwaukee in Game 7 and was quite effective. While holding down the Brewers was a noteworthy achievement, the Red Sox are the highest scoring team in baseball.The Sox are prohibitive -650 favorites to win the World Series at this point, while the Dodgers are +450 underdogs, per OddsShark. Those backing the Red Sox have to risk $650 to win $100, while Dodgers backers wager $100 to earn a profit of $450.However, the Dodgers are -160 favorites in Game 3, while the Red Sox are +135 underdogs.
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