The Red Sox pitching staff has successfully avoided a place alongside Tracy Stallard in unwanted baseball history, but that hasn’t translated into the win column. The Sox have kept Aaron Judge quiet, but enter Sunday’s finale in the Bronx hoping to avoid a four-game sweep.
Brayan Bello has been a big reason to keep watching the Sox as a lost season comes to a close, and plenty of eyes will be on the rookie hurler in primetime on Sunday. He’s faced the Yankees once this season and pitched solidly, but was let down by stunningly poor defense in allowing three runs — all unearned — in a loss on Sept. 14.
Nestor Cortes has been excellent for the Yankees this season, but has never loved facing Boston; the southpaw has a 7.04 ERA in 23 innings across nine previous appearances against the Sox.
RED SOX (72-79): Hernández CF, Pham LF, Bogaerts SS, Martinez DH, Refsnyder RF, Casas 1B, Dalbec 3B, Chang 2B, Wong C
Pitching: RHP Brayan Bello (2-6, 4.75 ERA)
YANKEES (93-58): Judge DH, Rizzo 1B, Torres 2B, Cabrera RF, Bader CF, Hicks LF, Trevino C, Gonzalez 3B, Peraza SS
Pitching: LHP Nestor Cortes (10-4, 2.67 ERA)
Time: 7:08 p.m.
TV, radio: ESPN, WEEI-FM 93.7
Red Sox vs. Cortes: Arroyo 0-5, Bogaerts 1-11, Chang 0-2, Dalbec 1-4, Devers 3-11, Hernández 1-5, Martinez 2-8, McGuire 1-4, Pham 1-10, Refsnyder 5-8, Verdugo 0-5, Wong 1-2
Yankees vs. Bello: Cabrera 1-3, Donaldson 1-3, Gonzalez 0-2, Hicks 0-2, Judge 1-2, Kiner-Falefa 0-2, Stanton 0-3, Torres 3-3, Trevino 0-2
Stat of the day: Aaron Judge is 1 for 9 without an RBI through three games of the series, striking out five times.
Notes: Judge is 3 for 13 with five walks since getting his 60th homer in the ninth inning Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He enters the final meeting of the season against Boston hitting .432 (35 for 81) with 11 homers and 19 RBIs during a 23-game on-base streak ... Xander Bogaerts had two hits Saturday to hike his average to an AL-best .315 — one point ahead of Judge — but the Red Sox were 3 for 16 with runners in the loss ... Bello has allowed three runs or less in six straight starts, including one run on eight hits in five innings at Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Amin Touri can be reached at email@example.com.