video thumbnail

Prime 9 Fenway Park moments

The Red Sox and Yankees will turn back the clock a century when they begin a three-game series on Friday by celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Boston and New York will meet 100 years to the day after the two rivals opened the doors to the Red Sox's historic home on April 20, 1912.

To commemorate the event, the two clubs will don throwback uniforms recalling the days when the Red Sox and Highlanders -- the team that became the Yankees in 1913 -- took the field in what was a 7-6 victory for the Red Sox.

"It's going to be a big day for Boston sports," said Jacoby Ellsbury.

The big day begins at 2 p.m. ET, when former Red Sox, spanning generations, will be celebrated on the field before the 3:05 p.m. first pitch. All-time names including Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk, Mike Lowell, former manager Terry Francona and others will be on hand to mark the centennial anniversary.

There had been questions regarding Francona's appearance, given the circumstances of the two-time World Series-winning manager's departure following the 2011 season. Nevertheless, one of Francona's former player's expressed support for his return.

"I think it's great," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "I'm excited to see him. I'm sure everybody else is. I'm sure the fans will enjoy it. It's a pretty big thing we're doing here for the 100th year, and he's a huge part of this organization."

Once the pregame celebrations are over, the task of snapping Boston's three-game losing streak will fall to Clay Buchholz. The right-hander has endured a tough start to his season. Buchholz -- 1-0 with a 9.82 ERA -- was tagged for five earned runs over seven innings in his last start, against the Rays on Saturday. That outing followed a seven-run, four-inning effort on April 8.

The Yankees have historically given Buchholz trouble. He is 2-3 with a 5.59 ERA in seven career starts against New York, including a 1-1 record and 5.06 ERA vs. the Bombers in 2011.

Ivan Nova can't claim any more success in the rivalry, as he is 0-2 with a 6.62 ERA in four appearances (three starts) lifetime against the Red Sox. However, Nova has been perhaps the Yankees' best pitcher this season, as he takes the mound in search of his 15th consecutive regular-season win. Nova, 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA, comes off a steady outing in a four-run, six-inning effort against the Angels.

Yankees: An encore for Granderson
• A day after Curtis Granderson turned in perhaps the best game of his lifetime, he has a chance for an encore.

In Thursday's 7-6 win over Minnesota, Granderson hit three home runs in his first three at-bats, finishing 5-for-5 with four RBIs.

In 15 career plate appearances against Buccholz, Granderson is hitless, but he has walked four times. Against the pitchers currently on the Red Sox roster, Granderson has just 21 hits in 105 at-bats -- a .200 batting average.

• The Yankees are averaging 5.2 runs per game, even without much offensive support from the typical heart of their order. Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have combined for just three home runs and 10 RBIs.

• Setup men David Robertson and Rafael Soriano have combined to allow just one earned run over 12 innings this season, striking out 15.

Red Sox: Sweeney swinging a hot stick
• Boston has been in need of outfield production following the injury to Ellsbury and the absence of Carl Crawford. Meanwhile, Ryan Sweeney is hitting a team-high .424 (14-for-33) with five RBIs and five doubles.

• After striking out four times on Tuesday, Kevin Youkilis launched a two-run homer in the second inning of the Red Sox's 6-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday. Youkilis batted sixth in the game, marking the first time he has batted lower than fifth in Boston's batting order since July 22, 2008.

Worth noting
• The Red Sox won the season series against the Yankees, 12-6, last season, marking the first time since 2007 that the rivals did not split the set. The two clubs went 9-9 against each other each season from 2008-10.

• In 20 career at-bats against Buccholz, Cano has nine hits, posting a .450 average and a .600 slugging percentage.

• The six home runs the Red Sox allowed on Tuesday night were the most since they surrendered six to the Yankees on Sept. 24, 2010. Comments