The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-4 Tuesday, improving their record against their arch-rivals to 6-1 on the year, and reclaiming a share of first place in the AL East.
The tone against starter Freddy Garcia was set early on by Jacoby Ellsbury, who took the fifth pitch of the game-a splitter at the very bottom of the strike zone-and smashed it about ten rows into the stands in right field. Garcia's offerings on the night would best be described as batting practice were it not for his inability to find the zone consistently, as evidenced by Dustin Pedroia's ensuing walk. Adrian Gonzalez received a changeup slightly higher than Ellsbury's splitter, and bounced it off the bottom of the wall in center field for a triple. Kevin Youkilis very nearly went long himself, but ended up with just a sacrifice fly for his efforts.
With Garcia escaping any further harm in the inning, Jon Lester came out and showed he wasn't going to be that much better. Completely lacking control of his cutter, Lester walked Curtis Granderson and then hit Mark Teixeira hard on his right knee, knocking him out of the game. The Yankees would only score once in the inning on a Robinson Cano flair to center as Lester got some help from Kevin Youkilis, who made a nice play to his left with the bases loaded to provide the third out.
Unlike Lester, however, Garcia would not so much as make it out of the second inning, allowing a two-out double to Dustin Pedroia to build the Red Sox' lead back up to three runs. Still, the inning proved to be a missed opportunity as Luis Ayala got Kevin Youkilis to fly out with the bases loaded to end the threat.
From there, both staffs seemed to settle down some, exchanging zeroes until the fifth inning. The first mistake came from Hector Noesi, who really saved the Yankees' bullpen with six effective innings out of the pen. Well, five effective innings and one ineffective one. With Adrian Gonzalez on first, Noesi tried to come inside on David Ortiz, but left the ball in Ortiz' wheelhouse. The ball left the yard in a hurry, with Papi flipping his bat nonchalantly away as he started his trip around the bases.
Lester wasted no time giving the runs right back in the bottom of the inning, however, giving up singles for Jorge Posada (in since the first for Mark Teixeira) and Russell Martin to set up a two-run, two-out double from Nick Swisher.
Bobby Jenks came on for the seventh, but left with a 3-1 count to his first batter after injuring himself on what looked like a fairly normal delivery. Matt Albers came in and got the job done however, setting up Daniel Bard for an incredibly easy inning. Things were rather more difficult for Jonathan Papelbon, however, who gave up a walk to Brett Gardner and a single to (who else but) Jorge Posada to set up Alex Rodriguez as the tying run at home. Papelbon would emerge victorious, however, getting Rodriguez to chase a 97 MPH fastball away for the strikeout to end the game.