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NYY@TB: Sabathia goes seven solid to earn second win

Plenty of drama surrounded the first two games of a three-game series between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Between Jacoby Ellsbury's return to Boston on Tuesday and Michael Pineda getting thrown out of Wednesday's game for having pine tar on his neck, who knows what Thursday's finale will have in store.

It will pit Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia against Red Sox southpaw Felix Doubront.

After struggling to begin the season, Sabathia (2-2, 5.19 ERA) found his form in his last start against the Rays, allowing just two runs over seven innings for the win.

Sabathia, who struck out six and walked two in the contest, was especially pleased with his changeup.

"It's been pretty good. It's something that I wanted to get back in my repertoire. We've been throwing it a lot, and it's been working for us," Sabathia said. "I'm throwing it as much as I did when I first got here. That's something I wanted to get back to. Not overthrow it, but just keep it in the mix, and it's been a good pitch for us."

The Red Sox saw Sabathia on April 11 and were shut out through five innings before pounding hit after hit in a four-run sixth inning that handed Sabathia his second loss of the season.

Just like the Yankees left-hander, Doubront (1-2, 5.48 ERA) has begun to get into a groove after a rough start to the season. He took a loss to the Rangers on April 8 after allowing five runs on six hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

On Saturday against the Orioles, he surrendered two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings for a no-decision. He also struck out seven and walked two.

In an April 13 start against the Yankees, Doubront allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for the loss.

"There has been less thought of mechanics and delivery rather than executing pitches. He's used the full assortment," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "A few starts ago, he was so fastball oriented and it didn't work in his favor. He's returned back to normal pitch distribution and he has been more free of mind in his game plan."

Yankees: Nova to get second opinion
Noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews will offer a second opinion on Ivan Nova's partially torn ulnar collateral ligament at the request of the pitcher.

Nova was examined on Tuesday by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where an MRI arthrogram confirmed the original diagnosis of a partial tear, which often requires Tommy John surgery.

Nova sustained the injury during an April 19 start against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Since the injury, Vidal Nuno has taken Nova's spot in the rotation.

Red Sox: Victorino expected back
Outfielder Shane Victorino is expected to be activated from the disabled list before Thursday's game against the Yankees.

Rehabbing a right hamstring strain with Triple-A Pawtucket, Victorino hit .091 (1-for-11) with three strikeouts.

"Shane does so many things for us. He can get guys over. He steals bases. He hits for power," Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli said. "Getting him back is going to be huge for us. We're starting to get over the hump a little bit and play better as an offense. Having him back is going to be huge."

Worth noting
• Napoli has reached base in 18 straight games, a career high. It is the longest streak by a Red Sox player since David Ortiz reached base in 23 straight games last season.

• Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has not allowed a run in eight games this season. He has 14 strikeouts and one walk.

• The Yankees are 0-8 this season when tied or trailing after six innings. Comments