(SportsNetwork.com) - Fresh off his suspension for throwing behind a hitter of a division rival, Brandon Workman returns to the mound for the Boston Red Sox Friday night as they begin a weekend series with the archrival New York Yankees in the Bronx.
Boston has dominated the head-to-head series with New York so far this season, winning five times in seven tries to go along with a 40-24 run differential. However, Toronto and Baltimore currently hold the top two spots in the American League East, with the Yankees three games off the pace and Boston eight games back entering Friday.
After an unsuccessful appeal to MLB on June 13, Workman served a six-game suspension for throwing a pitch behind Rays third baseman Evan Longoria on May 30 at Fenway Park.
The right-hander has been solid in eight games (five starts) for Boston this season. His last outing was June 15 against Cleveland, when he allowed two runs on five hits over six innings of work while striking out seven. In his previous start at Baltimore, Workman pitched around two rain delays and had a no-hitter going through 6 2/3 innings.
For New York, struggling left-hander Vidal Nuno gets another crack at his first win since May 7. Nuno has given up five homers and 12 earned runs over his last two starts. He is winless in eight appearances at Yankee Stadium (seven starts) this season with a 7.09 ERA.
"This is what we have," Girardi said of his starting rotation, which is currently without C.C. Sabathia and Michael Pineda due to injuries. "And as I said, it's not like there's just starting pitchers lying around out there. Right now, this is what it is."
The Yankees had the day off Thursday after snapping a four-game slide with Wednesday's 5-3 victory at Toronto. Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer as he went deep for the third time in five games.
"Within the division, the games that we've played, we've played six against Toronto and three against Baltimore and now we're going to play Boston and Tampa," manager Joe Girardi said of the team's current 15-game stretch against AL East foes. "I thought we needed to play a good game before the off day."
The Red Sox, who were also idle Thursday, have dropped five of their last seven but are coming off Wednesday's 5-4 win at Seattle.
David Ortiz went deep and finished with three RBI in support of starter Clay Buchholz, who earned the win in his first start in a month after recovering from a knee injury. Perhaps a bit rusty in his return, Buchholz served up three home runs.
Boston is 2-5 on a 10-game road trip.