After suffering through a long road trip, winning only two of seven games, the New York Yankees were happy to be back in the Bronx last night for the first game of a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox. The ball was flying out of Yankee Stadium with each team hitting three homers, but the Yankees’ bombs came with runners on, putting them on the right side of the tally.
Phil Hughes allowed all three of the Red Sox homers, but each of them was a solo shot and when your team is hitting them with men on base, a single run here or there won’t hurt you. The homers are alarming; he’s allowed 25 this season, which is tied for the Major League lead, but Hughes chalks it up to being aggressive with no one on base in an effort to try to avoid walks. He seems completely unfazed by the trend on the mound as he continues to have an impressive season.
Hughes finished the night with seven innings of three-run ball, allowing five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Hughes is 6-3 with a 2.88 ERA in his last ten starts.
After Dustin Pedroia homered for the BoSox in the top of the first, the Yankees came back with three runs in the home half of the frame. Mark Teixeira beat out the relay throw on what the Red Sox hoped to be a double-play grounder, driving in the first run. Raul Ibanez followed with a home run to right field to give the Yanks a 3-1 lead.
Hughes would give up another home run in the third and fourth, but the Yankees also scored in each inning, one run on a Teixeira sac fly and two off a Russell Martin homer.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning notching his 14th hold. Before the Yankees could see the untuck from Rafael Soriano, Curtis Granderson gave him another night off with a two-out grand slam off former Yankee Mark Melancon giving the Bombers the lead by the decisive margin.
The Yankees (60-39) are now 8.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Red Sox (49-51) sit 11.5 games back and will soon have to decide what they will do before the trade deadline.
The Yankees send CC Sabathia to the bump for a 4:05 pm start in the middle game of the series. Sabathia (10-3, 3.30 ERA) has pitched well since returning from a three-week stay on the disabled list with a strained groin. He is 1-0, allowing three runs in 13 innings in two starts.
The Red Sox send Jon Lester (5-8, 5.46 ERA) out to try to right his ship. Lester has been awful in his last two starts, allowing 17 earned runs (11 in the last outing) over 8 total innings. He has failed to get past the fifth inning in his last three starts.