The Red Sox fell to the Yankees 3-2 Friday night, dropping into second place in the A.L. East in the process.
For four-and-a-half innings, the Red Sox seemed ready to continue their dominance over the Yankees from earlier in the season. Then, with one strikeout, momentum seemed to shift.
Dustin Pedroia's infield single had chased Bartolo Colon in the bottom of the fifth and loaded the bases. Already ahead 2-0 thanks to a wall-ball double from Jacoby Ellsbury in the third and a solo shot from David Ortiz in the fourth, Boston seemed prepared to break open the game with Adrian Gonzalez stepping to the plate. But Joe Girardi opened his binder, and went to a barely-warming Boone Logan.
Three pitches was all it took. Gonzalez took the first one, then took two ugly swings and, just like that, the whole game changed. Jon Lester came out, and displayed some of the control issues he'd had for short bursts in the second and fifth innings. This time, though, he couldn't get things together in time to escape.
Eduardo Nunez led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on Derek Jeter's single, and scored on Curtis Granderson's single. Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, and the Yankees tied things up on a double play from Robinson Cano. Lester needed just one more out to escape the inning, but could not record it before Nick Swisher hit a ground ball down the 3rd base foul line and just past a diving Kevin Youkilis, bringing Curtis Granderson home and putting the Yankees on top 3-2.
The Red Sox twice received opportunities to tie the game from Carl Crawford, who doubled in the sixth and reached with an infield single in the ninth, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out the first time, and both he and Josh Reddick could do nothing against Mariano Rivera in the ninth, leaving the Red Sox on bottom both on the scoreboard and in the standings.