Postgame, Red Sox 3-2: With a flight to Minnesota for a game that will begin in 18 hours, the Red Sox clubhouse was a flurry of energy.
It helps when you win a game in that sort of fashion, otherwise all you hear is the sound of luggage being zipped.
Thus ends a stretch in which the Red Sox played 14 of 17 games at home (11-6 record) and begins one that will see them play 14 of 17 on the road.
The first one against the Twins on Monday will feature the third attempt for Tim Wakefield at win No. 200. NESN will have it for you, first pitch coming at 7:10 p.m.
Final, Red Sox 3-2: And there you go, folks. The homestand defined by walk-off hits.
Josh Reddick joins Jacoby Ellsbury in that boat with a first-pitch RBI single to left. It is his first career walk-off hit.
Before the club boards an extremely late flight to Minnesota, we’ll go talk to ‘em.
12:24 a.m.: David Ortiz has doubled with one out. Darnell McDonald will run for him as the Yankees intentionally walk Carl Crawford.
It’s up to Josh Reddick, who is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts tonight.
Mid 10th, 2-2: Daniel Bard used a 94 mph changeup to strike out Mark Teixeira, a 99 mph fastball to get Robinson Cano to ground out and an 83 mph slider to get Nick Swisher looking.
Solid stuff from Bard.
The Yankees have turned to Phil Hughes. That may mean he gets replaced in the rotation for the time being by Ivan Nova.
Of course, much of that depends on how many pitches he throws. Kevin Youklis, David Ortiz and Carl Crawford will try to make him work here in the 10th.
End 9th, 2-2: Everyone in the press box recalled Marco Scutaro’s walkoff home run against Mariano Rivera a handful of years ago, many of us before Scutaro even stepped to the plate.
He nearly did it again with a wall-scraping double to left, his third extra-base hit in 16 career at-bats against Rivera.
Jacoby Ellsbury bunted Scutaro to third and Dustin Pedroia made it count with a sac fly to left.
That’s the 14th blown save for Rivera against Boston. He has no more than eight against all other teams.
Daniel Bard will take over for the Red Sox.
Mid 9th, Yankees 2-1: A few trends were kept alive in the top of the ninth, one of which involved another pitcher getting out of a pickle.
With one out, Brett Gardner improved to 5-for-10 (with four walks) against Jonathan Papelbon with a base hit off Jacoby Ellsbury’s glove in center.
Gardner then swiped second base, becoming the 17th straight man to steal successfully against Papelbon, a run that dates back to 2009.
Papelbon would get Derek Jeter to ground to third and Curtis Granderson on a fly ball to right.
Here comes Mariano Rivera. And it’s Monday.
End 8th, Yankees 2-1: The inning had some nice symmetry, but no scoring.
After a strikeout of David Ortiz, Carl Crawford singled. After Crawford moved up on a wild pitch, Josh Reddick also struck out. After Crawford moved up again on a wild pitch, Jason Varitek struc…ah, no, he popped to third baseman Eduardo Nunez.
Almost had a pretty nice pattern there. And the Red Sox almost had the tying run, but they fall to 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Jonathan Papelbon is on to pitch the ninth. It’s the 22nd non-save situation for Papelbon, compared to 25 save situations.
Mid 8th, Yankees 2-1: A quality inning for Dan Wheeler to keep this a one-run game and run his scoreless streak to 8 2/3 innings.
Wheeler struck out the side in the frame, two singing and one looking.
It’ll be lefties David Ortiz, Carl Crawford and Josh Reddick against right-hander David Robertson, who has actually been more effective this year against left-handed hitters. Sets up rather nicely for the Yanks.
End 7th, Yankees 2-1: Terry Francona was giving loads of love to the quality quartet atop his lineup earlier on today, and for good reason.
But Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis are now a combined 1-for-14 with 10 runners left on base, eight by Ellsbury alone.
Rafael Soriano sliced through the last three of that foursome in the seventh. That turns things over to Dan Wheeler to work the eighth for Boston.
Mid 7th, Yankees 2-1: It almost got incredibly ugly in the top of the seventh, at least for the fans now three hours into this affair.
After Matt Albers gave up the go-ahead home run and hit Derek Jeter, Franklin Morales came on and threw a strike…and then nine straight balls.
Consecutive walks to Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira ellicited loads of boos and put the Yankees a Robinson Cano hit away from getting a little distance.
Give Morales credit for making a pitch to Cano and getting him to ground to Dustin Pedroia.
This game has been about escaping jams, on both sides.
Meanwhile, New York can now turn to its new-look bullpen with Rafael Soriano working the seventh, David Robertson the eighth and Mariano Rivera the ninth — provided the score remains the same.
It’s a new-look bullpen because of Soriano’s return and his insertion into this seventh-inning role. He was the setup man before Rivera prior to his lengthy stint on the DL.
10:56 p.m.: Not the outing we are used to from Matt Albers, who serves up a go-ahead home run to Brett Gardner and then plunks Derek Jeter, all with two outs.
Albers is being replaced by Franklin Morales, and Fenway is unbelievably silent right now. Just heard someone in section 17 sneeze.
End 6th, 1-1: The Red Sox have left the bases loaded in two of the last five innings, and have left nine on base already.
A walk and two singles (the last an infield job giving Marco Scutaro a 3-for-3 night) loaded them up with two outs.
Jacoby Ellsbury, serenaded with chants of MVP! MVP!, was ahead 3-0 against Cory Wade, but fell to 0-for-4 with a pop to left to end it.
In the midst of it all was a 3-0 swing by Jason Varitek that resulted in a foul pop to the catcher. That cut, coming with two on and one out, had some people scratching their head up here.
Matt Albers has taken over for Boston. Solid outing again for Beckett, but the runs just never come for him.
10:34 p.m.: Boone Logan was a star after his clutch effort against the Red Sox in the opener, including a huge strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez.
He didn’t have the same success this time around, walking David Ortiz and giving up a single to Carl Crawford.
Logan got Josh Reddick on a fly out. That gets Joe Girardi off the bench to call on Cory Wade. He will turn Jason Varitek around.
Mid 6th, 1-1: With two on and two out, Josh Beckett’s 100th pitch was a 94 mph fastball that got plenty of the plate and was just missed by Eric Chavez, who fouled it back.
Beckett’s 101st pitch was an 80 mph curveball at which Chavez could only watch, clearly sitting heater.
Here’s how we got to that point.
After Curtis Granderson flew to right for the first out, both Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano singled. Nick Swisher lofted one to center for the second out before Beckett fell behind 3-0 to Chavez.
Great job by Beckett to not only battle back after the two singles but also to beat Chavez. Matt Albers is up in the pen. That may be all for Beckett on a pretty humid night.
Boone Logan has taken over for New York with three straight lefties due up in the sixth.
End 5th, 1-1: It’s not often you see Dustin Pedroia gunned down trying to steal. It happened in the fifth, nullifying a leadoff hit.
Great play by Derek Jeter on the tag, and Jeter added another solid play charging a Kevin Youkilis grounder to end it. In fact, Jeter has made four or five plays that you could put a star next to tonight.
The range crap people throw out there is garbage — always has been. He comes in on the ball and goes back on the ball as well as anyone, which does not get included in his lacking lateral range, and he makes all those other little plays so well, such as the one on the Pedroia tag.
Maybe not deserving of the Gold Glove every year, but still very solid, even if he doesn’t get to as many balls as overrated shortstops like Asdrubal Cabrera and Alexei Ramirez, who make more highlight reels but don’t always make the plays they should.
Mid 5th, 1-1: He’s not Alex Rodriguez, but one reason the Yankees have not missed a beat in A-Rod’s absence is the production of Eduardo Nunez.
Moments after Russell Martin is out trying to stretch a single into a double (nice play by Josh Reddick in right to cut the ball off and fire a strike to second), Nunez jumps on a Josh Beckett cutter and sends it just inches over the Green Monster to tie it.
Brett Gardner followed with a hot shot that caught Beckett in the right shin and bounced all the way to foul territory for a base hit. After a delay to ensure he was OK, Beckett retired Derek Jeter on a fly to right.
Pretty good game here, and I’d like to give a shout out to my Vermont boys in attendance. Tom, Jeff, Bill and Randy are the four bad-ass dudes next to the Red Sox on-deck circle. Mess with them, you mess with the Green Mountain State. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.
End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Much like Josh Beckett in the top half of the inning, Freddy Garcia gets through the fourth unscored upon, but has to work to do so.
A two-out walk to Jason Varitek and a single to Marco Scutaro gets Jacoby Ellsbury up there for the third time. And for the second time, Ellsbury is retired on a grounder to first.
Garcia has topped the 100-pitch mark just four times this year, and in three of those he was between 100-102. He hasn’t reached that plateau in seven straight outings.
That’s almost entirely by design. Joe Girardi has a bullpen he can use to get a few more outs than most others, and he has to be making every effort to keep a guy like Garcia fresh through the remainder of the season.
Garcia has thrown 83 thus far, so five innings may be the capper. Phil Hughes is available in the pen, and if he arrives on the mound it means Ivan Nova will be back in the rotation for another turn, at least.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: If the Yankees accomplished anything in the fourth, it was in making Josh Beckett sweat through 22 pitches, and in proving that solid contact can be made against him.
Curtis Granderson started it off with a six-pitch walk. Mark Teixeira then had a six-pitch strikeout, Granderson stealing second on the last delivery from Beckett. On the eighth pitch he saw, Robinson Cano grounded to first.
Nick Swisher followed with a drive into the triangle in center, a good 400 feet from home plate, that Jacoby Ellsbury tracked down. If Swisher hits that 10-15 feet to the right, the Yankees lead.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Leadoff walks against the heart of Boston’s order by a guy who threw over 30 pitches the previous inning. That’s usually a recipe for disaster, but Freddy Garcia does a solid job after issuing the free pass to Dustin Pedroia.
Nice plays by Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter get consecutive force plays at second. David Ortiz then grounds to Cano to end it.
Garcia has a 2.63 ERA in innings 4-6, so you cannot discount what he’s done to avoid too much damage early on. He may be able to keep this thing tight through the middle frames. Still, he’s already thrown 62 pitches, so if he gets through six it will be a bit of a shock.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: In 24 innings against the Yankees this year, Josh Beckett has put up a zero 23 times.
In the one he did not, it was a two-run homer by Curtis Granderson, something many pitchers have given up this season.
Beckett does allow a man to reach second in the third when Russell Martin singled and just barely beat out a throw to second by Adrian Gonzalez, who had stepped on first for the first half of what was nearly a double play. (Guess it’s not the first half if the second half never came, right?)
Brett Gardner flew to left and Derek Jeter lined one right to Dustin Pedroia.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: He nearly pulled it off. Freddy Garcia almost had a magic act in the second.
The soft-throwing righty was in a huge bind after allowing a walk and two singles, the last an infield hit by Carl Crawford that gives him seven hits in his last seven trips to the plate.
Garcia managed to win a good duel with Josh Reddick by getting him to swing through a changeup. He then induced a pop to left off the bat of Jason Varitek that had three Yankees converge and two collide, the ball finding a home in Derek Jeter’s glove.
But he couldn’t get past Marco Scutaro, who improved to 7-for-14 off Garcia with a sharp single through the hole in right.
Nick Swisher was on the ball rather quickly in right and the lumbering David Ortiz was held at third. When Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a fly to left, Garcia was finally out of the inning. He has to feel pretty good about giving up just the one run.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Yankees cannot even get a ball into fair territory in the second against Josh Beckett.
Robinson Cano pops to Kevin Youkilis in foul territory and the next two are strikeout victims.
Cano is now 0-for-8 in this series. He usually treats this place like a pinball machine. Cano had hit in eight straight at Fenway prior to the set, going 16-for-33 (.485) with two homers, five doubles and seven RBIs in that stretch.
End 1st, 0-0: Freddy Garcia has appeared in 20 games this year. He has lasted at least five innings in all but two, going one inning against Boston and then 1 2/3 innings against the Sox.
OK, one of those outings was in relief, but you get the point. In his stinker vs. Boston in the Bronx on June 7, he gave up a home run, a walk, a triple and a sacrifice fly to these guys right off the bat, eventually getting pulled in the second.
It went a bit better this time around. Garcia gets Jacoby Ellsbury to ground to first (nice diving stop by Mark Teixeira), Dustin Pedroia on a grounder to short and Adrian Gonzalez on a weak pop to third.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Things began brilliantly for Josh Beckett in the first. They ended with a tad of intensity, but nothing the righty can’t handle.
Beckett begins the game by getting Brett Gardner looking at a curveball for strike three.
Derek Jeter then pounces on the first pitch he sees and chops one down the third-base line, where Kevin Youkilis makes a diving stop for the second out.
A walk to Curtis Granderson forced Beckett preceded a 3-0 count to Mark Teixeira, and some wicked die-hahds began to squirm. Alas, Beckett continued his mastery of Teixeira by getting him to fly lazily to right.
Teixeira is now 7-for-42 (.167) with 17 strikeouts vs. Beckett.
8:10 p.m.: With a packed shack looking on, Josh Beckett delivers a ball to Brett Gardner. Settle in for what should be a good one.
7:27 p.m.: We gave you the Jed Lowrie update earlier. It’s rather apparent that this will be a bit of a platoon to start, Lowrie hitting against all lefties and maybe a few righties, and Marco Scutaro getting the bulk of the starts against right-handers.
Also wanted to pass along the Jorge Posada news, straight from Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
As Feinsand points out in a tweet, it’s not a given that top prospect Jesus Montero will take Posada’s spot if and when he is called up, which appears imminent. Like the Red Sox, the Yankees are carrying 13 pitchers to get through a particularly tough stretch of the season.
But it’s clear that Posada is becoming more and more of a bit part for this team, which cannot be easy for him.
6:33 p.m.: According to some of the New York people floating about, Jorge Posada is not entirely pleased with being out of the lineup against a right-hander.
Posada has struggled all year against lefties, but to see him on the bench with Josh Beckett on the mound is a bit odd. Joe Girardi told the media he is going to try some different things with Posada. Not quite sure yet what that means, but it’s the second time this year that there has been Posada-Girardi issues during a series with the Red Sox.
You will recall the controversy following Posada’s self-benching after being placed in the No. 9 hole.
I was just going to say that it’s extremely dark here right now. Well, the lights aren’t on as the Yanks take batting practice. Gamesmanship? Perhaps. At least we know it’s not another storm rolling through. Should be clear for a few hours.
Back in a bit.
5:20 p.m.: Terry Francona has confirmed that Jed Lowrie will indeed be activated for Monday’s road trip opener in Minnesota. A corresponding move will be announced later today or from Target Field.
We will have more from both guys on the site real soon. Let’s pass along that Yankees lineup:
Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Eric Chavez, DH
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Cano is a .323 (21-for-65) hitter with three homers and eight doubles against Beckett. Teixeira is 7-for-41 (.171) with 17 strikeouts.
4:05 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where the sun is out and the tarp is rolled up. If we could just throw out the first pitch right now, this game would have no weather-related issues.
As we await what could be another round of rain, here is the lineup for the Red Sox against New York starter Freddy Garcia:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Nobody has numbers that jump completely off the charts against Garcia, except maybe Scutaro, who is 6-for-13 (.462) with two triples and a double against the right-hander.
3:16 p.m.: OK, about to hop in the old Toyota Camry and head on in to the park. It looks as though the rain may let up for a few hours and then could return during the game.
We should have the lineups over to you soon.
12:11 p.m.: As you can see if you are in Boston, or on a weather map if you are elsewhere, it’s pouring here right now.
It is supposed to let up a bit as the afternoon goes on and then it will be hit-or-miss tonight. Expect delays, but know that with a national television audience tuning in, they will do everything they can to get this one in.
The Yankees return to Boston at the end of the month, but there are no mutual days off anywhere on the schedule, so one of those days would have to involve a doubleheader. Or, if it is needed to decide anything, the teams could make it up on Sept. 29, the day after the regular season ends. But that’s extremely unlikely.
And doesn’t it seem as if Josh Beckett always has to deal with the rain? He gets no love from his offense and no love from Mother Nature. Of course, it was on a wet mound in Yankee Stadium last year that Beckett strained his back, and he hyperextended his left knee in wet conditions a month ago at Fenway Park.
One other factor in all of this is the Red Sox’ travel. Even if there aren’t delays, they have to hop a flight to Minnesota after the game. If there are delays, they will be landing as the sun comes up again and be forced to endure a quick turnaround for a game Monday night at Target Field.
The Yankees get a break. They have a day off before opening a six-game homestand Tuesday.
Keep it here for updates throughout the day. In other news, it appears as if the Kevin Millwood era is over.
8 a.m. ET: First place is once again on the line when the Red Sox finish a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Sunday night.
After splitting the first two games of the set, the two teams are tied once again. Fifty games remain.
Josh Beckett gets the nod for Boston. He is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA against the Yankees this year. Beckett enters second in the American League with a 2.20 ERA.
New York counters with Freddy Garcia, who is 0-2 with a 10.13 mark vs. Boston in 2011. Garcia has won three starts in a row.
The first pitch is expected to be thrown at 8:05 p.m., but rain is in the forecast. Check the live blog all day and night for weather updates.