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Red Sox Notebook

No arguing it’s been one-sided lately

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / May 17, 2010

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DETROIT — The rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees, while historic, hasn’t been particularly compelling lately.

The Red Sox have lost 13 of their last 16 games against the Yankees, including four of six this season. The Yankees have outscored the Sox, 43-29, this season.

“They’ve been whipping our butts,’’ said David Ortiz. “We need to change that.’’

The Sox will start Daisuke Matsuzaka against Phil Hughes tonight. Josh Beckett, who missed his last start because of a sore back, will face CC Sabathia tomorrow night.

Once the two-game series is over, the Sox will not see the Yankees again until a four-game series in the Bronx starting Aug. 6.

The Sox arrive in New York having dropped three of their last four games overall.

“I hope it does get easier. I don’t know if it will,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “We’ll regroup like we’re supposed to and go play [tonight]. We’ve got to put together all areas of our game and be one run better. If we make a mistake, pick each other up and not have it cost us games.’’

The Yankees have lost five of their last eight, including a stunning 6-3 defeat to the Twins yesterday when Mariano Rivera gave up a grand slam in the eighth inning to Jason Kubel.

The Yankees are two games behind first-place Tampa Bay in the American League East. The Sox are 7 1/2 games out and in fourth place.

Pedroia a scratch
Dustin Pedroia was in the original lineup then was scratched because of a sore right knee. It was the first game he has missed this season.

Pedroia was injured in the fourth inning Friday night when he was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on a single.

“I wasn’t moving around very well,’’ said Pedroia, who jarred his knee when he shifted trying to avoid the tag. “We’re at a time where everyone’s grinding and we’re trying to win games. But I’ll get in there [tonight].’’

Francona decided the best thing to do was to give Pedroia a day to try and recover.

“I don’t think he wanted a day off but I think it would be good for him,’’ the manager said. “I just think sometimes you make a guy take a day off and it helps him.’’

Bill Hall started at second base for the first time this season and handled the position well, nearly turning a double play in the third after Marco Scutaro made a terrific stop of a ball hit in the hole. Hall was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Ellsbury rehab set
Jacoby Ellsbury will start his minor league rehabilitation assignment today with Pawtucket and play the outfield. With the PawSox then going on the road, Ellsbury will play for Double A Portland tomorrow.

Ellsbury will meet back up with the Sox at Fenway Park Wednesday to be reevaluated. It is expected he will need more than two minor league games, given that he has been out since early April with four fractured ribs.

“I really don’t know. I don’t think it’ll be extended, but I don’t know that it can be one to two days, either,’’ Francona said.

Mike Cameron, who has played five games for Pawtucket, took a day off yesterday. He may be in the PawSox lineup today as the designated hitter to get a few more at-bats as he continues his comeback from a lower abdominal strain.

Francona said he did not expect to have Cameron with the team in New York today.

Cameron is 4 for 14 during his rehab with three runs, three RBIs, a home run, and four walks.

Not their day
Perhaps the Sox need more sleep or better sunglasses. But they are now 2-9 in day games, the worst record in the major leagues. “Really?’’ Pedroia said. “That’s pretty bad.’’ . . . The Tigers stole two bases before Jason Varitek threw out former teammate Johnny Damon at second base in the sixth inning. Damon was the second runner Varitek has caught in 16 tries this season . . . The Tigers have won four consecutive series at Comerica Park against teams that made the playoffs last season, the Twins, Angels, Yankees, and Red Sox. The Tigers were 10-3 in those games . . . Victor Martinez, in a 2-for-28 slump, was given a day off after catching all 12 innings Saturday night. Adrian Beltre also got a day off. Mike Lowell started at third and was 0 for 4.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com.

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