With a little luck, Sox oust Yankees 8-6
The Red Sox are headed in the right direction, and that direction is up. Despite losing a 6-1 lead in New York Saturday night, the Sox held on for a 8-6 victory over the Yankees, their first in their last three games. The pitching and the offense finally came together for Boston, with Jon Lester and Adrian Gonzalez looking more like themselves right before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Gonzalez came out big for the Sox, kicking it off with an RBI triple in the first inning and kept the momentum going in the fifth with a three-run homerun, giving his team a cushiony lead. With a 6-1 lead after Gonzalez’s homer, it seemed as though the Sox may have overcome their kinks, especially considering CC Sabathia was on the mound for the Yankees.
Lester threw a nearly flawless first four innings, but the Yankees rallied in the bottom of the fifth with three runs off a two-run homer from Jayson Nix and a groundout from Derek Jeter which scored Russell Martin, whom Lester had walked. In typical rivalry fashion, Mark Teixeira tied it up with a homer off former teammate and current enemy Vicente Padilla.
The Sox rallied in the ninth, but it wasn’t without some luck when Curtis Granderson fell while backpedaling on Pedro Ciriaco‘s RBI triple, allowing Jacoby Ellsbury to score. A sacrifice fly from Dustin Pedroia would bring home Ciriaco, but the Sox already had what they needed. A win, individual successes, and a good outing from Lester were all it took to boost morale, especially for the Red Sox ace who hadn’t been himself for much of the season.
Lester game up four earned runs, two homers, and struck out six across his six innings pitched. Regardless, he was able to keep the Yankees quiet for the first four innings. Matt Albers, Vicente Padilla, Andrew Miller, and Alfredo Aceves finished the job, with Padilla allowing the two tying runs. It was the 22nd save in 26 chances for Aceves.
– A big outing for Lester was practically crucial Saturday. He was 0-3 with a 10.42 ERA in his last four starts, but he turned it around and left the game after providing his team with a great opportunity to win. The game also marked Lester’s 1,000th strikeout, but more than that, it marked the return of his confidence. “I’m real, real pleased with how I threw the ball,” Lester told media after the game. “The biggest thing is we needed that game. We needed to win that game. Guys came back and kept fighting. That was big for us.”
– Gonzalez also returned to form, After hitting .392 through 71 games, he now boasts .549 slugging percentage in his past 28 games.
– The feud between Vicente and Teixeira continues, and unfortunately for Red Sox fans it seems as the Teixeira is the one taking the high road. When reporters approached Padilla, who gave up the lead Lester left for him, he refused to talk and said, “About what? One bad day?” before promptly walking out of the locker room. On the other hand, it sounds like Teixeira is trying to move past the battle with his old teammate.”Emotion is part of the game, but if you let the emotions get the best of you, especially as a hitter, you swing too hard or you swing at pitches over your head, that does you no good,” the Yankee said when he spoke to the media after the loss.
– The series culminates Sunday night as the Red Sox take on the Yankees for the last time in the three-game series. Felix Doubront (10-5 will start on the mound against Hiroki Kuroda (10-7). Now 10 1/2 games behind the Yankees, the Sox still find themselves in a must win position.