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.