Tavarez set for latest tough opponent

Tavarez set for latest tough opponent

The Red Sox will turn to the rubber-armed man in Game 2 of their three-game series with the Yankees on Tuesday.

Julian Tavarez has faced the Yankees 20 times in his career, but only three of those outings have been starts. Overall, he's gone 2-1 with a 5.73 ERA against New York.

The right-hander has been paired against several top pitchers this season, including the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang, the Twins' Johan Santana and Mike Mussina on Tuesday. But Tavarez doesn't mind the matchups.

"That's some tough starting pitching I've faced," he said. "It makes the competition better."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that the matchups have contributed to Tavarez's overall numbers this season.

"His ERA is a little deceiving," Francona said. "He's matched up with some really good pitchers. But more often than not, he's given us a chance to win the game."

Then again, equally deceiving could be Mussina's numbers, as he's posted a 2-2 record and a 5.64 ERA in five games to start his injury-slowed season.

It will be Mussina's first start against Boston this season, the 51st time he's faced the Red Sox in his career.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (2-4, 5.59 ERA)
Tavarez worked a season-high seven innings against the Tigers on Thursday, allowing just one run on four hits. In his only start against the Yankees this season, Tavarez picked up the win as the Red Sox rolled to a 7-4 victory in the Bronx on April 29.

Yankees Coverage
Jeter's late homer lifts Yanks
Yanks gear up for lesser opponents
Chamberlain springs curve on Sox
Notes: Peace of mind for Posada

Red Sox Coverage
Schilling's gem ends with loss
Bauman: Game mirrors Classic duel
Sox don't take lead for granted
Notes: Matsuzaka pushed back
Season Series
Yankees win 10-8
• 9/16: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
• 9/15: Red Sox 10,Yankees 1
• 9/14: Yankees 8, Red Sox 7
Previous season series
2006: Yankees 11, Red Sox 8
2005: Yankees 10, Red Sox 9
2004: Red Sox 11, Yankees 8

NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (2-2, 5.64 ERA)
Mussina looks to rebound after dropping a 5-3 decision in the first game of a doubleheader in his last outing against the White Sox. The right-hander owns a career 19-14 record with a 3.47 ERA in 50 games against the Red Sox.

Player to watch
Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu has hit Tavarez hard throughout his career, posting an .808 slugging percentage with three home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in 26 at-bats.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 4-1, 3.57) at Yankees (LHP Andy Pettitte, 2-3, 2.83), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, 6-2, 4.06) at Rangers (RHP Brandon McCarthy, 4-4, 5.82), 8:05 p.m. ET

Caleb Breakey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.