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Yankees, Red Sox open 4-game series

NEW YORK —  Boston begins a four-game set at Yankee Stadium with a 5½-game lead in the AL East over second-place New York.

Veteran lefty CC Sabathia (10-5, 3.82 ERA) starts the opener for the Yankees against Eduardo Rodriguez (4-4, 4.19). Sabathia is 7-0 with 1.44 ERA in nine starts this year after New York losses. Rodriguez is 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in eight career starts against the rival Yankees.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is poised to come off the disabled list, after nursing a sore left knee.

New York, which leads the wild-card race, dropped both ends of a doubleheader Wednesday, part of a three-game sweep by AL Central-leading Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Red Sox polished off a three-game sweep in Toronto.