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Sox blanked by Yanks, stuck in rivalry rut

@IanMBrowne
September 19, 2020

After the dismal events of Saturday night, when the Red Sox were thoroughly outhit and outpitched by the Yankees in an 8-0 loss, they’ve got one more chance to avoid a historic 0-for-the-season against their longtime rivals. Just nine times in the Modern Era has one team won every game

After the dismal events of Saturday night, when the Red Sox were thoroughly outhit and outpitched by the Yankees in an 8-0 loss, they’ve got one more chance to avoid a historic 0-for-the-season against their longtime rivals.

Just nine times in the Modern Era has one team won every game against an opponent in a season series of 10 games or more.

Box score

The Red Sox will send righty Tanner Houck -- their No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline -- to the mound on Sunday (1:07 p.m. ET) to avoid trying to be the 10th team on the wrong side of that statistic.

The last time it happened was 1999, when the Rangers won all 12 games against the Mariners. The last time the Yankees accomplished this feat was their glittering ‘98 World Series championship season when they went 10-0 against the Royals.

The Red Sox have never been on either end of such a one-sided season series.

Boston is 0-9 against New York this season. Dating back to Sept. 7, 2019, the Yankees have won the last 12 rivalry matchups, equaling their best run against the Red Sox in history -- which they last did in 1952-53.

Unlike the heartbreaking loss on Friday -- when the Red Sox were one out from victory in the ninth, only to lose in 12 innings -- this one was as one-sided as could be.

While the Yankees had a steady stream of offense, the Sox couldn’t touch lefty J.A. Happ, who tossed eight innings of four-hit ball, striking out nine. This was the first time Boston has been shut out this season.

“We've had trouble with Happ,” said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “He moves the ball around well, he pitches inside well, throws a changeup, throws a breaking ball, and in the three years I've been here, we have not hit him very well. So that was most of it. But we just didn’t have very many good at-bats. Only a couple balls hit hard off him.”

The Red Sox didn’t have a strong night defensively either, making three errors. Uncharacteristically, shortstop Xander Bogaerts made two errors.

“We played so well [defensively] yesterday, then today it didn’t look like the same guys,” Roenicke said. “Bogey's usually so steady if balls are hit to him. I always know we're going to get an out because he's a steady player. So that's very unusual for him to not make those plays.”

On Sunday, the Red Sox will try to make enough plays to finally beat the Yankees.

Arroyo joins injured crew
The Red Sox have endured a rash of injuries lately, and second baseman Christian Arroyo was added to the list on Saturday night when he departed after four innings with back spasms.

“Coming off the dive in the first inning and then he dove a couple innings later, so he spasmed up, and hopefully he's day to day,” Roenicke said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.