PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies steals second base ahead of the tag by Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park on June 28, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Interleague play begins on Friday night as the Boston Red Sox take on the Philadelphia Phillies in the first of a three-game weekend set at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. First pitch for Friday night's game is at 7:05 p.m. EST (NESN).
Since its inception, interleague play has always favored the Boston Red Sox. Boston has a 150-115 record in interleague games, which is the fourth best record in all of baseball. Also, since 2003, the Red Sox lead the majors with a 105-57 interleague record, per ESPN.
On the heels of six wins in their last seven games, the Red Sox will open interleague play against the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:05 p.m. EST on Friday night in the first of a three-game weekend set at Citizens Bank Park.
Boston leads the all-time series against Philadelphia, 27-19, since the beginning of interleague play. The Red Sox have won seven of their last 11 meetings and 13 of the last 19 in Philadelphia, but dropped two of three games last season in Philly.
After falling into a rut and losing five straight games at the beginning of May, the Sox have stepped up their play and now own a 7-9 record in the month. Boston is 18-20 overall and is still fifth -- dead last -- in the American League East.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, enters play on Friday with a 20-19 record, placing them fifth in the National League East. The Phillies are 9-7 in May and are riding a five-game winning streak heading into their series with the Red Sox.
This marks the first time that the Red Sox will face the Phillies with Jonathan Papelbon wearing Philly pinstripes. Papelbon, a right-handed closer, played the first seven years of his career in Boston before departing for Philly in free agency.
Philly will be without manager Charlie Manuel on Friday night, as the Phillies' skipper has been suspended one game by MLB after an up close argument with umpire Bob Davidson, who was also suspended one game, on Tuesday night.
Daniel Bard will open interleague play for the Red Sox on the mound and will face Phillies' southpaw Cole Hamels. Jon Lester faces Joe Blanton in the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon and Josh Beckett will battle Cliff Lee in the series finale Sunday.
3 game series vs Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park
|Sat 05/19||7:15 PM EDT|
|Sun 05/20||1:35 PM EDT|