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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