Red Sox 9, Yankees 5
The Red Sox knocked off the Yankees Wednesday night, scoring three times on big home runs by David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, and Jacoby Ellsbury, bailing out Josh Beckett after a mediocre performance from the ace.
Things started off well enough for the Red Sox. Beckett fired off five innings of one-run ball, with that lone run only coming on a pop-up from Derek Jeter that fell in to score Eduardo Nunez. Meanwhile, the Sox had put up two runs in the bottom half of the innings the Yankees scored in, with hits from Marco Scutaro, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jed Lowrie leading the rally. Another two would come in the fifth, as a two-out single from Adrian Gonzalez allowed Adrian Gonzalez to come to the plate and launch a very long two-run shot to dead center.
From there, though, the wheels seemed to fall off for Josh Beckett, who lost command except when offering up some flat pitches. Hitting the leadoff man in Mark Teixeira, Beckett would then offer up an RBI double to Robinson Cano, a walk to Nick Swisher, and a double to Eric Chavez that was misplayed into a triple by Josh Reddick. By the end of the inning, it was 5-4, Yankees.
That didn't last for long.
The bottom of the inning started off with a bit of a whimper, as Carl Crawford flew out, but quickly the Sox caught fire. Josh Reddick walked, and scored as Jason Varitek whipped a line drive down the left field line for a double. The big damage came with Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, however, as the speedy center fielder again showed his power by knocking a two-run shot into the Monster seats to put the Sox back up, 7-5.
After Josh Beckett redeemed himself with a clean seventh, it was more a matter of mop up than anything else for the Red Sox. After all, they too have a pretty impressive back two, who shut down the Yankees for the last couple innings, with Jason Varitek adding a two-run shot in the eighth to put the game firmly in Boston's hands.
Three For The Road
About Those Back Two...
They would be Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, who aside from a bad game on August 1 for Daniel Bard have allowed a lone run in 20 innings of work this month. In fact, Jonathan Papelbon has allowed just two baserunners in his share of the work, and Bard has struck out 13 men in the process.
The Yankees like to talk about playing seven inning games, but how about them Red Sox?
Tek Heating Up
It was a slow month-or-so for Jason Varitek, who seemed to slump along with the Sox in late July and early August, but the Captain has quietly put together a seven game hitting streak with three homers along the way. He's nearly caught up to Saltalamacchia offensively, and that's saying something this season.
The Sox only needed to dodge a sweep this series. While they'll have a great shot at a series win tomorrow night, for now they can go into the game with the pressure off their shoulders. They will be on top of the division, even with a loss, and haven't really allowed a huge momentum shift.
Red Sox MVP -- Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury TIE
Ortiz put them up big early, Ellsbury broke the tie and completed the comeback, and Jason Varitek sealed things in the bottom of the eighth. Each man with a homer, each with a reasonable claim to be tonight's player of the game.
Up Next -- Jon Lester (14-6, 3.09 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (9-11, 5.31 ERA)
This match looked pretty great, and while it ended well, it wasn't exactly the domination the Sox had hoped for from Beckett. They'll get another shot at a real blowout tomorrow with this matchup.