The Red Sox took an 8-6 win over the New York Yankees Saturday night, and they have Curtis Granderson to thank for it.
Long before Granderson left his mark on the game, however, it was Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks getting the job done for the Red Sox. After singles from Pedro Ciriaco and Dustin Pedroia with one out in the first, Gonzalez hit a rocket to right field, doubling home Ciriaco and reaching scoring position himself to give the Sox an early lead. Cody Ross could get neither man home, managing just a pop-up, but Will Middlebrooks was up to the task behind him, blasting another hard drive off of CC Sabathia, this time to the gap in left for a two-run double.
Jon Lester would finally manage to get through a clean first inning, and in fact retired the first eight batters he saw on the night. A Chris Stewart home run would break up both the perfect game and the shutout with two down in the third, but Lester got right back on the horse with a 1-2-3 fourth.
The fifth inning would seem at first to be the key frame for the Red Sox. Once again it was Pedro Ciriaco and Dustin Pedroia setting the table, this time with a single-walk combination. With two outs already on the board, however, Gonzalez knew that, unlike in the first, it all rested on him to get them home. So when Sabathia offered him up a hanging curveball, he didn't miss the opportunity, launching a three-run shot to right field that put the Sox in a seemingly commanding 6-1 lead.
Lester, however, has not been one to hold big leads this year, and sure enough the bottom of the fifth saw him struggle in a big way. A four-pitch walk to start the inning, and then a bad pitch to Jayson Nix quickly made it 6-3, as the third baseman launched a two-run shot of his own to right. Another pair of baserunners would soon follow, allowing the Yankees to manufacture a third run with a bunt and ground ball.
The Sox would manage to hold the lead into the eighth, but the signs there would quickly turn sour. Curtis Granderson twice just missed tying the game with a two-run shot, sending foul balls deep to foul territory in right before striking out against Vicente Padilla. Inevitably, though, it would come down to Padilla and his arch-rival in Mark Teixeira. A 2-0, 51 MPH Eephus would fall in for a strike, and the 96 MPH fastball that followed left the park, giving the Yankees the tie they'd been chasing since the first.
In the end, though, it was a miracle courtesy of Curtis Granderson that would save the game for the Red Sox. With one down and Jacoby Ellsbury on first in the ninth, Pedro Ciriaco lifted a looping fly ball to center field. Granderson should have been able to play it with ease, but instead he ended up twisted around, only able to make a late lunge as the ball hit the grass and Jacoby Ellsbury raced all the way home. With Pedro Ciriaco able to reach third on the misplay, the Sox were able to add an insurance run on a loud Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly. Alfredo Aceves came in to pitch a clean ninth, and the Red Sox left winners.
|Final - 7.28.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||3||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||2||8||11||0|
|New York Yankees||0||0||1||0||3||0||0||2||0||6||6||0|
|WP: Andrew Miller (3 - 1)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (22)
LP: Rafael Soriano (2 - 1)
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