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The Yankees held the Red Sox scoreless Thursday night, taking a 2-0 victory to stay tied atop the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles.
Felix Doubront's start both looked and felt like a Felix Doubront start as it was happening. Full count after full count, plenty of baserunners sneaking on inning-by-inning, a high pitch count, and the eventually, when that count approached 50, disaster. After skirting harm for the first three innings, Doubront's night seemed ready to come to a terrible end when he gave up a single to Alex Rodriguez and back-to-back walks to Robinson Cano and Russell Martin to load the bases in the fourth with no outs on the board. Needing perfect pitching to escape, Doubront certainly did not provide it.
And yet, despite offering up two hard hit balls to Andruw Jones and Curtis Granderson, Doubront only had the one run come in. The first line drive cost him a run, but it came as a sacrifice as the ball headed directly at Cody Ross in right field. The next found James Loney's glove on the fly, and the first baseman turned it into two by stepping on the bag to end the inning.
Gifted new life, Doubront would make it all the way into the seventh before being pulled with one out and two men on. All-in-all it was a productive if not exactly pretty outing for the young southpaw. Junichi Tazawa would surrender one of the runs, however on a bloop single before striking out the next two batters to end the inning, leaving Doubront with a second earned run to his name.
That run, however, would be largely inconsequential, as the Red Sox were completely incapable of getting to Phil Hughes. After retiring the first nine Red Sox he faced on just 26 pitches, Hughes finally looked at least a little vulnerable in the fourth when he gave up two baserunners, but Daniel Nava grounded out to end that threat.
In fact, that would be the most impressive attack the Red Sox would mount against him, providing a similar rally in the seventh. They stranded all four runners, and wasted another opportunity when they finally chased Hughes in the eighth with Pedro Ciriaco's leadoff double. With Rafael Soriano getting the job done in the ninth, the Sox' attempt to play spoiler fell short.
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The Orioles have done their part, taking an extra-innings win over the Tampa Bay Rays earlier today. Now the Red Sox have to do theirs, and knock the Yankees down to a firm second place in the AL East.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 0, End 8th -- Boston's ability to waste opportunities remains as impressive as ever. After a leadoff double from designated Yankee killer Pedro Ciriaco, the Sox can't move Pedro Ciriaco along until there are two outs on the board, and a pinch-hitting Ryan Lavarnway ends the threat with a fly ball to right field that's no trouble for Ichiro. They're three outs away from letting the Yankees back into first place.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 0, Mid 8th -- An error and a walk cost Craig Breslow a bit of tension, but nothing more in a scoreless eighth inning. The Sox are down to six outs to get some damage done themselves, however.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 0, End 7th -- Nick Swisher goes into a slide to rob Daniel Nava of a leadoff hit, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia strikes out for the third time tonight in part of a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
Yankees 2, Red Sox 0, Mid 7th -- So much for that one run. Felix Doubront comes back out for the seventh, with his pitch count nearing 100, and allows a pair of baserunners to reach with one out. Junichi Tazawa is able to get a pair of strikeouts, but they come after Derek Jeter bloops a single into center field to score the Yankees' second run of the night.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 6th -- Unfortunately, Doubront is being out-dueled by Phil Hughes at every turn, though that's probably got plenty to do with Boston's offense. A pair of baserunners, this time on singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and James Loney, come with one and two outs respectively. That's about the best attack they've mounted so far tonight, and like that one, it goes wanting as Cody Ross flies out to end the threat.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 6th -- It hasn't been easy at any point, but even after offering up a fourth walk, Felix Doubront is through six innings of 1-run ball against the New York Yankees now. That's a successful night by any reasonable measurement.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 5th -- The Sox get their second hit of the night on a Mike Aviles single. Somehow, though, they turn a hit-and-run attempt into two outs as Pedro Ciriaco grounds into a double play to end the inning in a hurry.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 5th -- Doubront returns for the fifth, and has things go rather better, as he keeps the Yankees to their one run. He does have to work around a double down the left field line, however, and the pitch count keeps growing.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 4th -- The Sox finally manage to put up some small fight against Phil Hughes, picking up a walk from Scott Podsednik with one out and a Cody Ross single that actually brings the tying run just 90 feet away with two down. Daniel Nava grounds out, however, and with him goes the threat.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- The Yankees are on the board, but it's a small miracle that they have just the one. As per usual, with around 50 pitches on his arm, Doubront falls apart. A sharp single from Alex Rodriguez and back-to-back walks to Robinson Cano and Russell Martin load the bases without any outs on the board. Both of the next two hitters even manage hard contact off of Doubront, but luckily for the Sox both manage to find gloves. The first swing produces a line drive to Cody Ross, but provides a run on a sacrifice fly. The second finds James Loney at first, who steps on the bag to make it two and end the inning. That could have been a lot worse.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 3rd -- Phil Hughes remains perfect through three, and with just nine more pitches on his arm after the third, it's getting time to look up the shortest perfect games ever thrown.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 3rd -- Felix Doubront gets his first 1-2-3 frame, and gets his pitch count down in the process. Needing just eight pitches to get through the 9-1-2 hitters, Doubront adds his third strikeout in the process, getting Eduardo Nunez swinging to start the frame.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 2nd -- Phil Hughes is having no such difficulty. Another 1-2-3 frame leaves him with a remarkably low 17 pitches thrown thanks to the remarkably impatient Red Sox lineup. Remarkable!
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 2nd -- Doubront has another scoreless inning in his pocket, but also a base on balls and plenty more pitches. It's getting to the point where you can tell a Doubront start from the pitching line alone between the high pitch count per batter faced, the walks, and the late struggles.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 1st -- The Sox come close to reaching base with a couple of swings, but don't quite manage it. Jacoby Ellsbury goes down on a close play at first after a ground ball to short, and while Scott Podsednik is able to put a charge in the ball, Curtis Granderson is able to run it down and make the over-the-shoulder grab on the warning track to provide out number two. Granderson has a relatively easier time with a fly ball to left off the bat of James Loney, and that's all she wrote for the first.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 1st -- A decent start for Felix Doubront, who works around a 2-out single to get through a scoreless first inning. The thing is that Doubront tends to get into battles, which build up the old pitch count, and Doubront is a guy who's faded as his pitch count has risen in recent months. With the organization on the verge of shutting him down, this is a point of some importance.
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia's wife, Kelli, had a baby boy on Thursday morning. Pedroia left the stadium in the middle of Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees as his wife went into labor.
Pedroia will be out of the lineup on Thursday and possibly Friday night as he tends to his wife and their newborn son.
SB Nation's Baseball Nation uncovered some video of Pedroia when he heard the news of his wife going into labor, and offered up this tweet from the New York Yankees official twitter account:
Dustin Pedroia's wife goes into labor! Good luck, Pedroias from Yankee fans...and thanks for missing a critical 9th inning at-bat! - Willie— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 13, 2012
Pedroia would have been at the plate in the eighth with the Red Sox trailing, 5-4. Instead, Ivan De Jesus came to bat.
Dustin Pedroia, proud new father of a healthy baby boy, will be absent from Boston's lineup Thursday night as the Red Sox take on the Yankees in the rubber match of their three-game set. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.
Pedroia's absence will give Ivan De Jesus a chance to get some time starting with the team, but it also means a pretty slim chance for a win. The lineup was already weak while Pedroia, by far their hottest hitter, was slotted into the third spot. Now that James Loney is forced to take his place, making the lineup that much thinner, that much shallower, it's hard to see how this group is going to score runs.
The best news of the day is that Jarrod Satalamacchia will be playing again, one day after clobbering a homer, triple, and double in his return to the starting lineup after missing a few games with back spasms. Salty will bat sixth behind Cody Ross and Daniel Nava, also making his second straight start.
Boston Red Sox (64-79)
New York Yankees (80-62)
Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford are gone. That's the good news. Unfortunately, their production (yes, believe it or not, some of them did produce) needs to be replaced. How should the Red Sox be rebuilt for 2013 and beyond?
The Red Sox fell to the New York Yankees 5-4 Wednesday night, failing to continue their run as effective spoilers.
The game began as an unexpected pitchers' duel, at least through the first three innings. Aaron Cook looked exceptional in the first, getting the Yankees to go 1-2-3 in short order with two ground balls and a strikeout. Three more ground balls saw him through the second, and it looked like all systems were go for a rare reappearance of the good Cook. David Phelps, too, was having a fair bit of success, giving up only a walk in his first three frames of work.
From there, however, things changed dramatically. Facing the Yankees lineup for a second time starting in the fourth, Cook started leaving pitches up and getting hammered for his trouble. Three pitches earned him a shot into the seats past the bullpens from Curtis Granderson, and three more earned him not only a bloop single from Alex Rodriguez, but a shot into the Monster seats from Robinson Cano to leave the Red Sox trailing 3-0, all in the span of four pitches.
The Sox would respond in the bottom of the inning, but not nearly so loudly, as back-to-back hits from Dustin Pedroia and James Loney served to push a run across. From there, the Sox went into full-on opportunity-wasting mode, stranding Jarrod Saltalamacchia at third after a leadoff double in the fifth, and turning three line drives into zero runs in the sixth thanks to a double play ball from Pedro Ciriaco and an inning-ending snag from Nick Swisher at first.
Boston might have gotten all the way back into the game thanks to competent bullpen pitching from Rich Hill, (Not That) Chris Carpenter, Andrew Miller, and Vicente Padilla were it not for the Alfredo Aceves outing mixed in. After recording the final run of the sixth on one pitch, Aceves returned for the seventh, gave up a single to Derek Jeter, and then another big bomb to right for Curtis Granderson. The two runs would serve to counter the two plated by the Red Sox in the bottom of the inning after a Jarrod Saltalamacchia triple and doubles from Mike Aviles and Daniel Nava.
Salty would add a homer in the ninth to make it awfully close, but in the end the Sox could not undo the damage they had done to themselves both at the plate and on the mound.
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After an enjoyable win in the first game of the series, the Red Sox will go for a series victory over the Yankees Wednesday night--one that could knock the Yankees into second place in the East if they manage it.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 3, End 8th -- After a double off of David Robertson brings Rafael Soriano into the game with four outs to go, Cody Ross strikes out to end the eighth inning, and gets tossed in a hurry, furious with the call. It's not good that the Sox are down to their last three outs and, in the unlikely even of a tie, without their best hitting OF, but it's nice to see Ross so worked up. Sox fans have to want him back for 2013.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 3, Mid 8th -- Not That Chris Carpenter gets out of a first-and-third jam by getting a double play ball from Derek Jeter. Jeter is now out of the game, having come up with a very noticeable limp after apparently hitting the first base bag awkwardly.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 3, End 7th -- But for Aceves' bad outing, this is a tie ball game. Jarrod Saltalamacchia reaches base for the third time tonight with a double that's grabbed by a fan down the right field line. He doesn't end up scoring on a Daniel Nava double off the wall in center thanks to some deke work by Curtis Granderson, but comes in on a Mauro Gomez ground ball all-the-same. Mike Aviles doubles for Jose Iglesias to bring Nava around to score as well, but Jacoby Ellsbury leaves him stranded at second with a ground ball out that ends the inning.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- The disaster that is Alfredo Aceves continues to do damage. This time it's not just the two-run homer he allows to Curtis Granderson that seems likely to be the last meaningful entry in this particular book, but the roundabout route he takes back to the pen once he's pulled, very noticeably avoiding Bobby V at all costs. Bobby V isn't going to be around for 2013, but it seems entirely unlikely that Aceves will either.
Meanwhile, Not That Chris Carpenter enters the game to finish things up and send it to the bottom of the seventh.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- For all the contact they had, hitting three line drives in the inning, the Sox go wanting in the sixth. The first comes for Jacoby Ellsbury, who hits his through the infield for a leadoff single. He's promptly erased by a Pedro Ciriaco double play ball, however, making Pedroia's hit in front of Ichiro less impactful. Still, it could have been the starting point for a two-out rally if James Loney's hard hit hadn't been snagged in the air by Nick Swisher to end the frame.
Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia is leaving the game. The good news is, it seems likely that this is related not to injury, but to the imminent birth of his second child. Congratulations to Dustin if so!
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- A leadoff double from Nick Swisher brings Aaron Cook's night to an end, and for that we can probably be thankful--he'd been living awfully dangerously of late, be it by stranding baserunners, or giving up deep fly balls. Rich Hill gets the first two outs around an intentional walk of Andruw Jones, and while the second one comes on a blown double play opportunity, Bobby Valentine calls on Alfredo Aceves who gets an easy fly ball to left field on his first pitch to end the threat.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Just brutal stuff from the Red Sox. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia leads off the inning with, of all things, a triple, the Sox fail to bring him in. A strikeout from Daniel Nava, a pop-up from Scott Podsednik, and another K from Jose Iglesias. Just the worst.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- A run-saving gem from Jose Iglesias ends the fifth. With Derek Jeter on second and two down, Robinson Cano hits a ground ball up the middle. Jose Iglesias hits full stride in an instant, and ranges well to the second base side of the bag, makes a sliding scoop, spins to his feet and makes a falling throw to first all in one smooth motion to get Cano by a step.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- The Sox finally get in the hit column and on the board in the fourth, and do it nearly as quickly as the Yankees. In the span of just four pitches, Dustin Pedroia doubles off the base of the Monster and then comes home to score on a James Loney single into right field. Unfortunately, that's as far as the rally goes, and the Sox are left still trailing headed into the fifth.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- Enter the bad Aaron Cook. With his pitches running high, the Yankees let fly. Just three pitches into the inning, Curtis Granderson deals the Sox the first blow, launching a solo shot into the seats past the bullpens in right. The next pitch is blooped into center for a single by Alex Rodriguez, and two after that Cano catches a pitch over the outside part of the plate and launches it into the Monster seats for a 3-0 lead. Four pitches, two homers, three runs.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 3rd -- The Sox go back to 1-2-3 in the third. So far, no residual birthday energy shining through for Ellsbury, or any sign that momentum has carried over from last night's win.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 3rd -- The Yankees one-up the Sox by getting the first hit of the game--a long fly ball to left that catches the base of the wall and leaves Eric Chavez standing at second with three outs still left to go in the inning. Cook, however, is up to the task of holding him, getting a ground ball back to the mound, keeping Chavez at second, followed by a fly ball to right field and finally a strikeout of Derek Jeter to make it three scoreless.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 2nd -- The Red Sox grab the first baserunner of the game in the form of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who draws a two-out walk off of Phelps. Daniel Nava, however, can only ground out behind him, ending the inning without further incident.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 2nd -- Three more ground balls have Cook through his second 1-2-3 inning of the night. One comes when Nick Swisher checks his swing and has the knob knock the ball towards third. It looks like a perfect infield single ball, especially given the hesitation from Aaron Cook, but Pedro Ciriaco comes in and makes a great play to catch Swisher in plenty of time.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, End 1st -- The Sox don't fare any better against Phelps than the Yankees did against Cook. He's not had great outings of late, but they need to build his pitch count up better than they did in a 13-pitch first, since he's a converted reliever who could tire early.
Red Sox 0, Yankees 0, Mid 1st -- A surprisingly quick and impressive inning from Boston's Aaron Cook in the first. Ground outs from Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are good signs for Cook, who lives and dies with his ability to induce ground balls (and the infield defense for that matter--Pedro Ciriaco and Jose Iglesias handle their opportunities with aplomb). The strikeout to Curtis Granderson that accounted for the second of three outs, however, is more a sign of the end of the world. Take that as you will.
The Red Sox will go for a second straight win and a series victory over the New York Yankees Wednesday night as they send Aaron Cook to the mound against David Phelps. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN, ESPN, and WEEI.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia will make his return to the Red Sox lineup, making his first appearance since September 7. The catcher has been out with back spasms, leaving Ryan Lavarnway to flail helplessly flail at the wind ever since. Daniel Nava will also make a rare start. Struggling with a wrist injury, Nava has only returned to the plate in the last couple of games, and then as a pinch-hitter. He hasn't been a consistent starter since early July, when his numbers first started to decline.
Otherwise, the Sox will focus on infield defense for the ground ball specialist in Cook. That means Jose Iglesias at short, Pedro Ciriaco at third, and James Loney at first.
Boston Red Sox (64-78)
New York Yankees (79-62)
Jacoby Ellsbury picked up four hits on his birthday, including a ninth-inning single that lifted the Sox to a 4-3 walkoff victory over the Yankees.
The game got off to an all-too-familiar start for Red Sox fans in the first. After surrendering a leadoff walk to Derek Jeter, Lester saw Nick Swisher break an 0-for-28 slump on the very first pitch he saw, doubling to left to put two in scoring position in a hurry. While Lester was able to avoid a big inning, a Robinson Cano ground ball to the right side was all it took to give New York the 1-0 lead.
Walks would prove a problem for Lester all night. Two more would come before the first inning ended, and another pair opened the third. Andruw Jones led off the fourth by drawing a sixth free pass of of Lester, but somehow the southpaw was able to escape each and every time, making it into the sixth with no more damage done.
Meanwhile, the Boston lineup had done just enough to put the Sox in the unfamiliar position of having a lead. It was Pedro Ciriaco, professional Yankee killer who got the rally going in the third with a double down the left field line. Jacoby Ellsbury singled up the middle to bring him in, stole second, and then came around to take the lead for the Red Sox on a Dustin Pedroia base knock.
The lead would last until the sixth, when Lester's shaky pitching finally caught up to him. A leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson and Andruw Jones single put two men on, and Jayson Nix moved them both into scoring position with a bunt. Lester ran the count full against Derek Jeter, brought a fastball inside, and had Jeter punch it out into shallow right field, and then into the stands on a bounce, bringing both runs home to give the Yankees the 3-2 lead.
The response from Boston was almost instant. With one out in the bottom of the frame, Dustin Pedroia got a fastball belt-high and inside from Hiroki Kuroda and turned on it, launching a solo shot into the Monster seats to even things at 3-3.
The bullpens would settle in from there, with the Yankees surviving a bizarre inning that involved the bases being loaded on two bunts--one popped into the air--and a ground ball to the right side where Boone Logan didn't remember to cover the bag. The Sox were cleaner with their bullpen work, but the game stayed even into the ninth.
After a scoreless top of the ninth for Andrew Bailey, the Sox went to work in the bottom of the inning, and who else but Pedro Ciriaco got it started. Swinging at three straight off-speed pitches in the dirt, Ciriaco missed badly on two, and then poked an excuse-me ground ball through the left side of the infield. Mike Aviles worked a long at bat against David Robertson before finding the same part of the infield, just far enough away from Derek Jeter that the shortstop had to hold onto the ball, bringing Ciriaco into scoring position with one out. Up stepped Jacoby Ellsbury, and on the third pitch of the at bat, slapped a hit into right field. The throw to the plate was late, and the Red Sox walked off the field, winners.
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The Red Sox are ready to play spoiler--or at least we hope they are--as the Yankees step up to bat for the first time in this three-game set. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, ENd 8th -- It's walkoff or bust time for the Red Sox, as David Robertson strikes out the side in order to send the game to the ninth in a tie.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, Mid 8th -- Craig Breslow allows a one-out walk to Andruw Jones, but quickly erases his mistake by inducing a double play ball to Pedro Ciriaco to end the inning.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, End 7th -- Ryan Kalish sets the tone for a bizarre inning with by leading off with a bunt popped up, behind the pitchers mound...and in between three Yankees for a base hit. Pedro Ciriaco follows up with...another bunt--this one bouncing around in front of home plate. Russell Martin rises from his crouch, stumbles, fails to cleanly play the ball, and then fires to first too late to catch Pedro Ciriaco. Mike Aviles seems to break the rhythm by failing to get a pair of bunts down and then striking out on a pitch way outside, but up comes Jacoby Ellsbury, who saws off a weak ground ball between first and the mound, and then stands safe as Boone Logan makes no attempt to cover the vacant first base bag.
Unfortunately, the Sox fail to convert. With the bases loaded, Daniel Nava replaces Scott Podsednik and grounds into a fielder's choice at home, bringing Dustin Pedroia up. The author of two hits already, Pedroia cannot make it three, popping up to short. This time Jeter settles underneath the ball, and the Yankees escape unharmed.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, Mid 7th -- You've gotta think Tazawa is pitching himself into a setup role for 2013. A 1-2-3 frame involves two easy ground balls and a third strikeout for Tazawa, who is sitting pretty with a 1.54 ERA.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, End 6th -- The lead does not last long at all for New York. Turning on a fastball that sails over the inside part of the plate, Dustin Pedroia launches a solo shot into the Monster seats with one out in the sixth to even the score up at 3-3. He's been exceptional over the last month, and doesn't seem ready to slow down.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- And right back on script we go. Eventually, those walks will catch up to anyone. It's a leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson that gets the Yankees started, and an Andruw Jones single that keeps them going before any outs are recorded. Laynce Nix dropped down a bunt, and then Derek Jeter came through for New York, punching a 3-2 pitch into right field for a blooper that gets down for a hit and then into the stands for a two-run ground-rule double, putting the Yankees ahead. Tazawa finishes the inning with a pair of strikeouts, but they needed those to come before the runs.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 5th -- The so-called "effective" part of the lineup does not live up to that designation in the fifth, falling 1-2-3 to Hiroki Kuroda and keeping the Red Sox ahead by the slimmest of margins.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, Mid 5th -- Jon Lester makes history in a stylish fifth inning. Striking out Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Steven Pearce around a Russell Martin double, Lester surpasses Bruce Hurst for the most strikeouts by a lefty in a Red Sox uniform with 1044.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 4th -- There is a clearly effective and clearly ineffective part of the lineup. Ryan Lavarnway does manage to force Kuroda to throw nine pitches, but that's the only victory the Red Sox find in the fourth as 5-through-7 go down 1-2-3.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, Mid 4th -- Make it six walks for Jon Lester in four innings after he leads off the fourth with a free pass to Andruw Jones. He's up to the task of escaping, but this is...worrisome stuff.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 3rd -- There's a twist to this tired script: the Red Sox have taken the lead! And who else but Pedro Ciriaco, Yankee Killer to get it started? While the infielder's numbers have gone down the drain over the last 13 games, he's had incredible success against New York so far in his career, and tonight he seems ready to continue that trend. A double into left got the Sox started on the right foot in the bottom of the third, and set up Jacoby Ellsbury for an RBI single up the middle that tied the game up at 1-1. Scott Podsednik once again popped up behind him--though this time not on a bunt attempt--but Ellsbury was able to swipe second on his own, and then came in to score when Dustin Pedroia laced a hit down the line into right field, putting the Sox ahead after three.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- The walks just keep coming for Jon Lester, who surrenders free passes to Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano to start the inning off. Luckily, Russell Martin and Steven Pearce are the next two to the plate, and Lester takes advantage of the shortness of the New York lineup with a pair of strikeouts. With Granderson grounding out behind them, the southpaw escapes unscathed, though his pitch count certainly speaks to a short night.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Did the Sox even come up to bat? Cody Ross is the only one who puts up so much as a four-pitch fight in an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for Hiroki Kuroda. That's all too common for the Sox these days, however.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- Lester gives up another hard-hit double to left, this time off the bat of Jayson Nix. With no walks in the picture, however, it's easy for him to escape unharmed and keep the Sox within a run.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- The Sox certainly threaten in the bottom of the inning, but they make a real mess of what could have been a good situation. After Jacoby leads the frame off with a double past the bag at first, Scott Podsednik attempts to drop down a bunt and move him to third. Instead, he pops the ball up in the air for a free out, and while Pedroia is able to move Ellsbury along with a single into left field, he finds himself out at second when James Loney follows up by grounding into an inning-ending double play. Red Sox baseball at its finest.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- So far, so bad for Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Throwing under half of his 23 first-inning pitches for strikes, Lester is lucky to escape with just a run. Starting off with a walk to Derek Jeter, Lester allowed Nick Swisher to break an 0-for-28 slump on the very first pitch he saw, doubling off the wall in left to make it second and third with nobody out. Alex Rodriguez was only able to ground out to third, forcing both runners to stay put, but Robinson Cano would at least manage to find the right side of the infield, allowing the run to score from third.
Lester would give up a second and third walk before managing to escape the inning. Not a good sign for a guy the Sox need to perform if they're going to have a chance tonight.
The Red Sox will open their three-game set against the New York Yankees Tuesday night as they send Jon Lester to the mound to take on Hiroki Kuroda. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts by NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.
Cody Ross will make a rare start in left field, moving over from right in lieu of Ryan Kalish, who will slot into the seventh spot of the Boston lineup. Ross will bat fifth, giving up his cleanup spot to James Loney against with the right-handed Kuroda on the mound.
With both Ross and Kalish in the outfield, Scott Podsednik will have the DH role for the night. Ryan Lavarnway will get the nod behind the plate for the second straight start since Jarrod Saltalamacchia left a game against the Blue Jays with back spasms.
Boston Red Sox (63-76)
New York Yankees (79-61)
The Red Sox finally have something to play for as New York comes to town: the chances to play spoiler against the hated Yankees.
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