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Top Prospects: Mookie Betts, 2B, Red Sox

Red Sox manager John Farrell wanted to give Mookie Betts a chance go through a full pregame routine to get accustomed to the Majors for a day before he played in a game.

Betts, the Red Sox's No. 5 prospect, was promoted to the Majors on Saturday after he surged through the team's farm system.

He will make his much anticipated Major League debut Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, and the Red Sox are hoping he can provide some sort of spark to a struggling offense.

"I think I'm as ready as I'm going to get," said Betts, who is expected to play primarily in the outfield. "Only time will tell, getting out there and playing and learning more will tell if I was ready or not. But the front office felt I was ready; I have to feel like I'm ready as well."

Betts, 21, was Boston's Minor League Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 and has followed that up with a stellar start to this season. In 77 games this year between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, he hit .345 with eight home runs, 70 runs scored, 48 RBIs and 29 stolen bases.

"He isn't looked upon as the savior for the Red Sox," Farrell said. "He's looked upon as a talented and exciting young player, and we're looking forward to him taking the field for us and confident that he'll be able to contribute."

The Yankees will be sending a talented young starter to the mound in rookie right-hander Chase Whitley to try to win the rubber game of this series.

Whitley, who has emerged as one of the team's most consistent starters, will be looking to bounce back from his first rough outing. He lasted a career-low 3 1/3 innings and was tagged for 11 hits and eight earned runs as the Blue Jays handed him his first defeat.

"You're not going to have it every night," Whitley said. "The biggest thing is just stay on it, keep the same mindset of what I've been doing the whole time."

Red Sox: Lackey looks to rebound from tough start
John Lackey will take the mound for the Red Sox on Sunday, looking to bounce back from his last start, when the Mariners tagged him for seven hits and seven runs over 3 2/3 innings.

Lackey had been the team's most consistent starter this season before that last outing.

He enters this game with a record of 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA, but in four career starts at Yankee Stadium, he is 1-2 with an 8.10 ERA.

Yankees: Cashman considering pitching upgrades
Even with starters CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda expected to return from injury at some point during July and August, respectively, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is still looking to upgrade the team's roster.

"I'm looking to make some additions if I can," Cashman said on Saturday. "I'd like to try and do things before those guys get back if possible. But I've already been trying, so there's a reason we haven't done anything. It's not because a lack of phone calls."

Despite the injuries to the rotation, the Yankees (41-38) are still near the top of the American League East.

"We'd rather be in a position to excel," Cashman added. "Our job is to excel and try and take control and even pull away if possible. We're not in that taking-control, pull-away category right now. We're just 'in-the-mix' category still. So hopefully, if I can do my job, I'll be able to assist us in getting into that higher category."

Worth noting
• The Yankees are 6-3 against Boston this season, matching last year's win total against the Red Sox (6-13).

• The Red Sox are 3-6 during this season-long-tying 10-game road trip that ends Sunday.

• Saturday marked the official halfway point of the Red Sox's regular season, and they finished 37-44, making it the first time since 1997 they have finished below .500 after 81 games (also 37-44). Comments