The Red Sox are ready to play spoiler--or at least we hope they are--as the Yankees step up to bat for the first time in this three-game set. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, ENd 8th -- It's walkoff or bust time for the Red Sox, as David Robertson strikes out the side in order to send the game to the ninth in a tie.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, Mid 8th -- Craig Breslow allows a one-out walk to Andruw Jones, but quickly erases his mistake by inducing a double play ball to Pedro Ciriaco to end the inning.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, End 7th -- Ryan Kalish sets the tone for a bizarre inning with by leading off with a bunt popped up, behind the pitchers mound...and in between three Yankees for a base hit. Pedro Ciriaco follows up with...another bunt--this one bouncing around in front of home plate. Russell Martin rises from his crouch, stumbles, fails to cleanly play the ball, and then fires to first too late to catch Pedro Ciriaco. Mike Aviles seems to break the rhythm by failing to get a pair of bunts down and then striking out on a pitch way outside, but up comes Jacoby Ellsbury, who saws off a weak ground ball between first and the mound, and then stands safe as Boone Logan makes no attempt to cover the vacant first base bag.
Unfortunately, the Sox fail to convert. With the bases loaded, Daniel Nava replaces Scott Podsednik and grounds into a fielder's choice at home, bringing Dustin Pedroia up. The author of two hits already, Pedroia cannot make it three, popping up to short. This time Jeter settles underneath the ball, and the Yankees escape unharmed.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, Mid 7th -- You've gotta think Tazawa is pitching himself into a setup role for 2013. A 1-2-3 frame involves two easy ground balls and a third strikeout for Tazawa, who is sitting pretty with a 1.54 ERA.
Red Sox 3, Yankees 3, End 6th -- The lead does not last long at all for New York. Turning on a fastball that sails over the inside part of the plate, Dustin Pedroia launches a solo shot into the Monster seats with one out in the sixth to even the score up at 3-3. He's been exceptional over the last month, and doesn't seem ready to slow down.
Yankees 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- And right back on script we go. Eventually, those walks will catch up to anyone. It's a leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson that gets the Yankees started, and an Andruw Jones single that keeps them going before any outs are recorded. Laynce Nix dropped down a bunt, and then Derek Jeter came through for New York, punching a 3-2 pitch into right field for a blooper that gets down for a hit and then into the stands for a two-run ground-rule double, putting the Yankees ahead. Tazawa finishes the inning with a pair of strikeouts, but they needed those to come before the runs.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 5th -- The so-called "effective" part of the lineup does not live up to that designation in the fifth, falling 1-2-3 to Hiroki Kuroda and keeping the Red Sox ahead by the slimmest of margins.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, Mid 5th -- Jon Lester makes history in a stylish fifth inning. Striking out Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Steven Pearce around a Russell Martin double, Lester surpasses Bruce Hurst for the most strikeouts by a lefty in a Red Sox uniform with 1044.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 4th -- There is a clearly effective and clearly ineffective part of the lineup. Ryan Lavarnway does manage to force Kuroda to throw nine pitches, but that's the only victory the Red Sox find in the fourth as 5-through-7 go down 1-2-3.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, Mid 4th -- Make it six walks for Jon Lester in four innings after he leads off the fourth with a free pass to Andruw Jones. He's up to the task of escaping, but this is...worrisome stuff.
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1, End 3rd -- There's a twist to this tired script: the Red Sox have taken the lead! And who else but Pedro Ciriaco, Yankee Killer to get it started? While the infielder's numbers have gone down the drain over the last 13 games, he's had incredible success against New York so far in his career, and tonight he seems ready to continue that trend. A double into left got the Sox started on the right foot in the bottom of the third, and set up Jacoby Ellsbury for an RBI single up the middle that tied the game up at 1-1. Scott Podsednik once again popped up behind him--though this time not on a bunt attempt--but Ellsbury was able to swipe second on his own, and then came in to score when Dustin Pedroia laced a hit down the line into right field, putting the Sox ahead after three.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- The walks just keep coming for Jon Lester, who surrenders free passes to Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano to start the inning off. Luckily, Russell Martin and Steven Pearce are the next two to the plate, and Lester takes advantage of the shortness of the New York lineup with a pair of strikeouts. With Granderson grounding out behind them, the southpaw escapes unscathed, though his pitch count certainly speaks to a short night.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Did the Sox even come up to bat? Cody Ross is the only one who puts up so much as a four-pitch fight in an eight-pitch, 1-2-3 inning for Hiroki Kuroda. That's all too common for the Sox these days, however.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- Lester gives up another hard-hit double to left, this time off the bat of Jayson Nix. With no walks in the picture, however, it's easy for him to escape unharmed and keep the Sox within a run.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- The Sox certainly threaten in the bottom of the inning, but they make a real mess of what could have been a good situation. After Jacoby leads the frame off with a double past the bag at first, Scott Podsednik attempts to drop down a bunt and move him to third. Instead, he pops the ball up in the air for a free out, and while Pedroia is able to move Ellsbury along with a single into left field, he finds himself out at second when James Loney follows up by grounding into an inning-ending double play. Red Sox baseball at its finest.
Yankees 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- So far, so bad for Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Throwing under half of his 23 first-inning pitches for strikes, Lester is lucky to escape with just a run. Starting off with a walk to Derek Jeter, Lester allowed Nick Swisher to break an 0-for-28 slump on the very first pitch he saw, doubling off the wall in left to make it second and third with nobody out. Alex Rodriguez was only able to ground out to third, forcing both runners to stay put, but Robinson Cano would at least manage to find the right side of the infield, allowing the run to score from third.
Lester would give up a second and third walk before managing to escape the inning. Not a good sign for a guy the Sox need to perform if they're going to have a chance tonight.