The New York Yankees put on an offensive display last night without the backing of a home run in a seesaw battle with the Boston Red Sox, claiming a 10-8 victory at Fenway Park.
It was only the second win of the season for the Bombers in which they didn’t homer; they are now 2-14 in such situations. The Yankees banged out 14 hits and four of them came with runners in scoring position (4-for-10 on the night). Despite the offensive explosion the Yankees needed to play comeback in a game that got out of hand quickly for both starting pitchers.
The Yankees pounced on Red Sox starter Josh Beckett for five runs on four hits in the first inning. Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, followed by a single from Curtis Granderson. Beckett hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch loading the bases. Robinson Cano drew a walk to force in the first run and keep his RBI-string intact. He has “driven” in at least one run in nine straight games. He also extended his hitting streak to twelve games later in the contest. Mark Teixeira followed with a two-run single and the Yankees tacked on two more runs with sac flies from Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez.
With Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda staked to a five-run lead, Yankees manager Joe Girardi had to feel good about getting length from his starter especially with a double-header looming today. Unfortunately, five-run leads in Fenway Park are just as strong as one-run leads and the Red Sox showed why.
Daniel Nava started things off for the Sox with a double and moved to third on a wild-pitch. He scored on a sac fly off the bat of Ryan Kalish. David Ortiz singled and moved to second after a throwing error by Chavez on Cody Ross’ groundball. Adrian Gonzalez doubled scoring Ortiz and then Jarrod Saltalamacchia blasted a three-run homer to right field tying the game at five.
The teams exchanged runs in the second inning and then each pitcher settled down for a little while, as Beckett tossed three scoreless innings before being removed after the fifth. In the bottom of that inning the Red Sox took the lead on a RBI-single from Mauro Gomez.
Kuroda lasted two batters into the sixth inning giving way to Boone Logan. Logan finished off the sixth inducing a groundout by Ortiz.
The Yankees, down 7-6 would stage a comeback led by Teixeira, who felt doubly satisfied as his two-run triple which feel just shy of a home run to dead center field, was hit off Vicente Padilla, whom Teixeira has had run-ins with in the past. Teixeira claims that Padilla will intentionally throw at people when the opportunity presents itself, but that was not the situation last night. The Yankees added two more tallies in the inning on a double by Raul Ibanez and a single from Chavez, each scoring a run.
The Red Sox tried to get right back in it in the bottom of the seventh. Cody Ross homered to start off the inning. Logan allowed a single to Gonzalez and then struck out Saltalamacchia. Logan was replaced by Cody Eppley who gave up a single to Gomez, but then got Mike Aviles to ground into a force play, on a nifty play by Jeter for the second out. Girardi called on David Robertson and he delivered an inning-ending strikeout of Nick Punto to end the threat.
Robertson got the first two batters of the eighth but then allowed a single to Ortiz and walked Ross. Girardi summoned closer Rafael Soriano for a four-out save. Soriano was up to the task as he set down all four batters including two strikeouts. It was the first four-out save for Soriano since 2007. He now has 20 saves in 21 chances and is a major reason the Yankees find themselves in first-place in the AL East.
The Yankees (50-32) remain five and a half games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, while the Red Sox (42-41 dropped eight and a half back in the AL East standings. The Yankees are currently the only MLB team with a winning percentage over .600 (.610).
Freddy Garcia (2-2, 5.94 ERA) will take the pill in the first game of the day-night double header set to begin at 12:35 p.m. Garcia is making his second start since the duel injuries to CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte forced him back into the rotation. He went 5 1/3 innings in the initial start allowing two solo home runs. He was knocked around in his last meeting against the Sox, giving up five runs in 1 2/3 innings back in April. He’ll face Franklin Morales (1-1, 2.51 ERA), who is coming off a seven-inning no-decision, in which he held the Seattle Mariners scoreless.
In the nightcap, Phil Hughes (9-6, 4.29 ERA) plays an important role for the Yankees. He’ll either be asked to salvage a split or step on the neck of the Red Sox for a sweep. Hughes has been impressive since June, allowing less than two runs in five of his last six starts. He’ll face Felix Doubront (8-4, 4.42 ERA) who is 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in his last three starts.