After battling back from an early 4-0 deficit, the New York Yankees dropped the first game of the weekend series with the Boston Red Sox, 8-4. Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia provided the difference maker with a seventh inning grand slam against Preston Claiborne that left the yard like a torpedo.
Hiroki Kuroda’s struggles started right away in the first. Dustin Pedroia singled and then raced to third on a David Ortiz double. Mike Carp got Pedroia home on a fielder’s choice to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. Daniel Nava then singled to bring in Ortiz. Stephen Drew added a two-run double and Boston was up 4-0.
The Yankees pulled within 4-2 on a Brendan Ryan home run in the third and a Lyle Overbay sacrifice fly in the sixth. A loud Boston crowd became quiet as Robinson Cano tied the score with a two-run double in the top of the seventh.
But the Red Sox loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh as Saltalamacchia stepped in against Claiborne. Manager Joe Girardi chose to bring in Claiborne despite his lack of recent success against Boston. Claiborne entered the game after Cesar Cabral upset Boston fans by hurling a pitch that hit Ortiz on the elbow. But with one swing, Saltalamacchia restored the four- run lead that the Yankees had erased.
So that leaves 14 games left. No Derek Jeter. No Brett Gardner. No chance for the Yankees? Take that thought and get it out of your head. Don’t bail out on them now. Two more games with Boston and then the Yankees have the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros. All three of those teams are below .500.
And, oh yes, there are three more games with Tampa Bay- the team they are trying to catch. And those three games are at Yankee Stadium. Sure, there are a couple of other teams in the mix, but the Yankees have taken the onslaught of adversity that has hit them this year and they are still standing. So damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.