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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