In the wake of a tough loss to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers sat alone in the dugout trying to collect himself.
Devers had just been thrown out at the plate to cap a crushing 2-1 defeat for a Red Sox group in desperation mode to make the postseason. The reality of his team's situation undoubtedly set in for the 22-year-old -- Boston is now 6 1/2 games back in the American League wild-card chase as it gets set to host the rival New York Yankees for a four-game series beginning Friday.
"I was just trying to soak in what just happened," Devers said through a translator. "I just don't like to lose, so that's pretty much it."
Losing is something the Red Sox have done a lot of against the Yankees this year. New York is 11-4 in the season series and enters the teams' final set of regular-season meetings with a 9 1/2-game lead in the AL East standings over Tampa Bay, 16 1/2 games ahead of Boston.
Right-hander Domingo German (17-3, 4.01 ERA) will get the nod for New York in the opener of the weekend tilt. The Red Sox will counter with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin after scheduled starter David Price suffered a setback with his ailing wrist.
Price being unavailable has Boston prepared to enter the key series needing to pitch bullpen games both Friday and Saturday. The team has 21 pitchers on its active roster, with manager Alex Cora hoping to line everyone up right as he goes.
"We'll mix and match, and hopefully the offense can wake up, score some runs and win the series," Cora said.
Chacin will make his first start since July 24, having been released by the Milwaukee Brewers last month after going 3-10 with a 5.79 ERA in 19 starts for the club. He will face the Yankees for the first time since 2016 and third time total (1-1, 4.09 ERA in previous two meetings).
German, meanwhile, faced the Red Sox just last month, earning the victory by allowing two runs over seven innings against the club on Aug. 3. For his career, he's 2-0 with a 3.98 ERA in five games (four starts) versus Boston.
German has lost just once in his last nine decisions, including two wins over the Red Sox.
New York, off Thursday after taking two of three from Texas, is set to soon receive reinforcements to its roster, with several key players progressing in their respective recoveries from injury. Infielder Gio Urshela (groin) is expected to be activated over the weekend.
"Gio's good," manager Aaron Boone said. "He did some baserunning stuff today, so I would expect him -- I think Sunday he's eligible (to be activated off the IL) -- my hope is that he's playing for us that day."
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (knee) and right-handers Dellin Betances (shoulder) and Luis Severino (shoulder) are among others who could make their return in the near future.
Despite the myriad injuries, New York has won eight of its last 10 games as it cruises toward the postseason, leading the Dodgers by a half-game for the best record in the majors. Boston has dropped three of its last five.
--Field Level Media
Red Sox hope to turn tide vs. rival Yankees
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