The New York Yankees made the game look easy in the first part of a day-night double-header yesterday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, but then took on the form of a completely different club in the nightcap.
In the opener, Freddy Garcia was once again extremely effective, going 6 2/3 innings and was backed by Andruw Jones who looked like the early 20’s superstar version of himself launching two homers and making an excellent play against the Green Monster.
The Yankees used a three-run homer from Nick Swisher followed by Jones’ first of the day to take an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. This gave Garcia more than enough runs to work with as he ended up allowing one run on six hits and two walks while striking out five batters.
Jones bashed his second home run of the afternoon leading off the fourth inning and was directly followed by a Jayson Nix shot, both landing well over the Green Monster.
In the nightcap, the Yankees staked Phil Hughes to the same quick lead they’ve generated in each game of the series. Mark Teixeira launched a three-run homer in the first inning, his fifteenth of the season, and it seemed like the lead would be in good hands with Hughes on the mound.
Hughes kept the Red Sox at bay through the first five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) as Red Sox starter Felix Doubront settled down. In the bottom half of the sixth the second team error lead to three runs as Pedro Ciriaco cleared the bases with a two-out double. It was Hughes’ last batter of the day. He finished with 5 2/3 innings allowing five runs (three earned) on ten hits, one walk and struck out three.
The Yankees got a run back in the top of the seventh as Jones hit his third homer of the day, bringing the score to 5-4. But, the Yankees bullpen, which tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in the day-game, was much different in the night-game. The defense was not helpful, making two more errors, but the combination of Boone Logan and Cory Wade (up as the 26th man for the double-header) was not good.
Logan allowed a leadoff double to Adrian Gonzalez and was removed for Wade. Cody Ross ripped a liner that was knocked down by Nix at third base, and the next three batters also hit the ball hard producing run-scoring hits all for extra bases. The Red Sox received one more run after Yankees catcher Russell Martin made a throwing error on a stolen base attempt at third base.
The Yankees had a chance to get back in it, but produced two lazy foul pop-outs with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and only one out. They received a home run by Eric Chavez in the ninth off Red Sox closer and former Yankee Alfredo Aceves, but that is as close as they would come to the lead.
The Jekyll and Hyde split left the Yankees (51-33) with a six-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and the Red Sox (43-42) remain eight a half back (nine in the loss column). In the series finale and final game before the All-Star break, the Yankees send Ivan Nova to the mound to face Jon Lester.
Nova (9-3, 4.05 ERA) suffered his first loss since May 19th in his last outing. He has a 1-2 record with a 5.70 ERA in 23 2/3 innings in his career versus the Red Sox. Lester (5-5, 4.33 ERA), holds an 8-3 record and a 4.15 ERA against the Yankees in close to 100 innings of work. He was knocked around a bit by the Bombers last season (2-2, 6.66 ERA in five starts).
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Alfredo Aceves Andruw Jones Boone Logan Boston Red Sox Cory Wade Eric Chavez Felix Doubront Freddy Garcia Ivan Nova Jayson Nix Jon Lester Mark Teixeira New York Yankees Nick Swisher Pedro Ciriaco Phil Hughes Yankees