Friday night was the 182d time the Red Sox and Yankees have played in the last 10 seasons, counting the 2004 ALCS.
The Yankees lead the series 92-90. The Red Sox have outscored the Yankees, 982-977. It’s amazing how evenly matched the two franchises have been when they play each other.
As for Friday night’s game, a few notes:
• The Sox have lost three straight, four of five and six of their last eight games. They now lead the division by one game on the Rays, who beat Toronto. “We’re very confident in our team. And yet, we’re going to go through some peaks and valleys,” John Farrell said.
• Beyond wins and losses, the level of play has been well below the standard set earlier in the season. The Sox have scored only 14 runs in their last five games, going 10 for 48 with runners in scoring position.
There have been seven errors in the last three games, three coming on Friday.
Base running continues to be problem as well. The Sox ran into three more outs on Friday, part of a troublesome trend since the All-Star break.
“It’s one of those funks that you walk into,” David Ortiz said. “You need to get out of it.”
• Alfonso Soriano, traded to the Yankees by Theo Epstein’s Cubs last month, was 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs. He is 13 for 18 with five home runs and an astonishing 18 RBIs in New York’s last four games.
• Alex Rodriguez was 2 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base amid loud booing every time he came to the plate. The crowd chanted “You do steroids” at Rodriguez in the third inning before he singled to quiet the din.
Rodriguez has played 10 games for the Yankees since appealing his 211-game suspension from Major League Baseball. He is 12 for 40 (.300) with the Yankees winning six of those games. The Sox play nine of their remaining 38 games against the Yankees. Rodriguez’s impact on the race could be significant.
• Rubby De La Rosa made his Fenway debut in the fifth inning. He put three runners on base over 2 1/3 innings but did not allow any runs.
• Shane Victorino, who has one hit in his last 18 at-bats, left the game after the eighth inning, just as a precaution with his left hamstring according to Farrell.
• Stephen Drew had two more hits and is hitting .355 with nine RBIs in his last 16 games.
• Will Middlebrooks, who singled in his first at-bat on Friday, has hit safely in all six games he has played since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket.