Final, Yankees 15-9: It's not hard to see how this one went bad. Felix Doubront solidified his spot in the starting rotation, allowing just one run and four hits over six innings in which he sometimes looked unstoppable. He struck out seven and was the steadying force as the Red Sox hammered their way to a 9-0 lead.
But the next six Red Sox pitchers to take the mound allowed 14 runs, and although the Boston bats didn't go completely cold during that stretch, the hits didn't add up to runs.
Both teams had poor pitching and sparse hitting today, but the Red Sox had it worse and at the worst time.
It will be hard to reflect on the good points from today, from Doubront's great outing to David Ortiz going 4-for-4 and Jarrod Saltalamacchia finally getting on track with a 4-for-5 afternoon. The Red Sox had 17 hits altogether — probably their best offensive night of the year.
But, as has been the story all season, not all pieces of the Boston puzzle are coming together at the same time.
The Sox have until tomorrow at 8 p.m. to lick their wounds and find a way to take the Yankees down for the first time this season. They showed today that it can be done.
7:53 p.m.: David Ortiz adds a single to put a nice finishing touch on his 4-for-4 day, and the Yankees counter by bringing in Cody Eppley to finish up the game.
Mid 9th, Yankees 15-9: Junichi Tazawa does the bullpen proud, pitching the only scoreless frame for the Red Sox since Felix Doubront left the game.
Tazawa retired Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez on two straight ground balls, then sent down the suddenly dangerous Mark Teixeira on a shallow fly to left.
The Red Sox will send David Ortiz, Nate Spears and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the plate in their final hurrah.
Even a solid effort right now would do a lot to make this day sting less.
End 8th, Yankees 15-9: Here's some silver linings as we spit out the ashes of what this game once was.
Alex Rodriguez is 0-for-4 today despite his teammates gathering 16 hits.
Before this game, the Yankees bullpen allowed nine earned runs in 47 1/3 innings and struck out 60. Today, they allowed four earned runs within four innings, with just two strikeouts in that span.
So, it's not inconceivable to think the Red Sox can pull something together. The bats have been hot all day.
(That would be next inning, though. Ryan Sweeney, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez just went down in order.)
Mid 8th, Yankees 15-9: More bad luck for the Sox, who just couldn't get out of this one.
Mike Aviles got to a Derek Jeter grounder but slipped, and Jeter beat his throw to first to score a run.
That's the second straight inning the Yankees have batted around. After piecing together just three hits over the first two times through the lineup, they've thumped 13 since.
Justin Thomas came in to pitch first, and Junichi Tazawa was there to get the final out.
Thomas did get two-thirds of an inning to his credit after Raul Ibanez hit into a line-drive double play. But Thomas gave up the two-run double to Russell Martin that scored Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez and put the score at 14-9.
Tazawa got Nick Swisher to fly out and end the damage.
The Red Sox still have two innings to get back into this one.
7:21 p.m.: The play-by-play reads heartbreak, bad karma, a kick in the shorts. What have the Red Sox done to deserve this?
Aw, forget it. This inning just stinks. The game, too. It is alarming how the score has gone to tatters since Doubront left.
It was a big gamble by Bobby Valentine, bringing former Yankee Alfredo Aceves in to try to close this game out over two innings. But the rest of the Red Sox bullpen has been miserable, so Aceves — who only recently has settled into being strong in the closer role — may have been the best hope.
Derek Jeter took eight pitches from Aceves and drew a walk, putting men on first and second.
Then, Nick Swisher played the hero again and blasted one off the center field wall to give the Yankees their first lead of the game.
There was a possibility that the Sox could have gotten Jeter out at home — Eduardo Nunez wasn't exactly running the basepaths with a lot of intelligence there — but the throw home was off, too, and both runs scored easily on the double.
Next up on the Valentine skewering menu comes his decision to intentionally walk Robinson Cano and pitch to Alex Rodriguez instead. That theory worked well until Aceves walked Rodriguez, too.
Teixeira — who was having a rough start at the plate coming into today's game (just one home run, five RBI) — continued his dream game. He drilled a double into the right field stands that gave the Yankees a three-run lead. That's six RBIs for Teixeira, and six for Swisher. So, take those two guys out of the game and you still have that 9-0 lead.
The final verdict on Aceves? No outs over 30 pitches.
7 p.m.: And you thought this one would be over in less than three hours, didn't you? Not a chance.
Alfredo Aceves is headed into the game to try to hold it together for the Red Sox.
Eduardo Nunez is on first for the Yankees, and the top of the order — Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano — is due up.
End 7th, Red Sox 9-8: Rafael Soriano has come in to pitch for the Yankees in what has suddenly become quite the contest.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to get the Red Sox right back into it, hitting a ball down the right-field line that bounced into the stands for a ground rule double. But Cody Ross, Mike Aviles and Darnell McDonald went down in order to keep the lead at just one run.
In further bad news for the Red Sox, apparently the latest man to pitch a perfect game will be due up again Thursday, when the Red Sox visit the White Sox in Chicago.
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that the Red Sox have traded for more outfield help. The Cubs' Myron Byrd is coming to Boston in exchange for Michael Bowden, a minor league right-hander, as well as a player to be named later and cash.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 9-8: That's why you play all nine.
Mark Teixeira just sent his second homer over the Monster, and he's cut the Red Sox' lead to just one run.
Matt Albers has been replaced by Franklin Morales, and Bobby Valentine is shaking his head. It's never easy, but the Red Sox thought for sure that this one was in the bag.
Teixeira's home run scored Cano and Alex Rodriguez, who reached on a Mike Aviles error. Teixeira has hit home runs from both sides of the plate today.
Morales stopped the damage, striking out Andruw Jones. That's right — Jones accounted for the first two outs of the very same inning. Russell Martin grounded out to close the frame.
6:30 p.m.: All eyes have turned to Seattle, where 29-year-old Philip Humber of the White Sox has thrown the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history.
Meanwhile, in Boston, Felix Doubront did indeed leave the game after throwing 99 pitches, and the Yankees broke the game open.
Vicente Padilla came in to pitch for the Sox and struck out Andruw Jones. But Russell Martin and Eduardo Nunez followed with singles, and Padilla walked Derek Jeter.
Nick Swisher then cut Boston's lead in half with a first-pitch grand slam over the Green Monster.
Robinson Cano followed that with a double, and Padilla's day is over. Matt Albers is coming in to try to stop the damage.
End 6th, Red Sox 9-1: David Ortiz is having a great day at the plate. He drilled a single for his fourth hit.
The Sox were quiet otherwise. Dustin Pedroia had a single, but Adrian Gonzalez hit into a double play, and Nate Spears recorded the final out.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 9-1: Mark Teixeira gets the Yankees on the board in what has been a rough day for the pinstripes.
Felix Doubront dominated both Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez, striking out both, but Teixeira got a hold of one and sent it over the Green Monster.
That may be the last of Doubront, though, as he's thrown 98 pitches in a great effort for the Red Sox today.
Top 6th, Red Sox 9-0: The Yankees appear to have everything to cure the Red Sox' ills today.
David Phelps gave up a double to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who hasn't hit much of anything this year, and then Cody Ross reminded everybody how much he likes Fenway Park by homering to center.
Darnell McDonald almost hit a home run himself but settled for a warning-track flyout. The fly ball outs by Mike Aviles and Ryan Sweeney were also pretty deep, meaning there could be even more scoring by the Red Sox in this one.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 7-0: The question now is how long Felix Doubront can keep going.
He recorded his fifth strikeout of the day against Russell Martin. He now has 18 Ks over the 15 innings he's pitched.
Doubront also logged his third walk of the day, though, giving the free pass to Eduardo Nunez. That's getting his pitch count up there — 85 through five innings.
The news now on Youkilis is that he left the game with a quad contusion, most likely from when he was hit by that stray Phelps pitch earlier.
End 4th, Red Sox 7-0: A good afternoon in Boston keeps getting better.
Across town, the Bruins have evened up their game against the Capitals — and on the power play, no less.
Bad news may be on the horizon, though, as Kevin Youkilis is now out of the game. There's no word on why he left, but he did take a pitch to the leg last inning. Nate Spears is batting in his place.
The Red Sox took it easy in this one and let the Yankees off without scoring a run. They're nice guys, you know?
Dustin Pedroia flew out in his at-bat, but he had a single last time up, marking the 13th straight game he's hit safely against the Yankees.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 7-0: What would you trade to have this result on Friday instead?
The Red Sox are a completely different team this afternoon, pitching included. The Yankees haven't gotten anything close to a clean look on Felix Doubront, who has just a couple of singles to his account.
Doubront is completely in control, and he's only getting better. He struck out Mark Teixeira looking on a pitch right down the heart of the plate, and he just put a nasty one inside on Curtis Granderson for another K.
There have been rumblings that Doubront could be a savior for the shaky Sox, and he's filling that role more than capably today.
End 3rd, Red Sox 7-0: The rout is on.
David Phelps, considered by many to be an eventual Yankees starter, looked like he may have had the Red Sox cornered, but Boston will not be denied today.
Mike Aviles came through again, lashing a single that scored two runs. Darnell McDonald also sent in a run — David Ortiz hoofing it home from third on a sacrifice fly.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia also got a hit in the frame, leaving Kevin Youkilis the only Red Sox batter who doesn't have a hit today. Youkilis did score a run, though, after getting on base when Phelps hit him with a pitch.
Youkilis must have some kind of magnet on him that attracts beanballs. The guy is full of muscles, but he can't like getting drilled every other day or so. He'll take this one, though, as will the rest of the Sox. This is looking more like Boston baseball.
5:10 p.m.: Another pitching change for the Yankees. Clay Rapada is out, and David Phelps will take the mound. Phelps has been the long man for New York this season.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: That's a quick inning for Doubront, who takes out Eduardo Nunez and Derek Jeter on ground outs.
Nick Swisher made it on base, but Doubront got Robinson Cano to fly out to center. Doubront is looking sharp.
End 2nd, Red Sox 5-0: You couldn't have written up a better two innings for the Red Sox. With Doubront clicking in the top half of the frames, the bats have taken control in the bottom of the innings. Clay Rapada is now in to pitch for the Yankees.
Every member of Boston's lineup now has a hit except Kevin Youkilis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
4:54 p.m.: The hits keep coming for the Red Sox, and that means the end of the day for Freddy Garcia.
Garcia has been pulled after throwing 48 pitches, with seven of those going for Red Sox hits.
Dustin Pedroia drilled one through second to score the third Red Sox' run of the inning, ending Garcia's day.
Cody Ross started the rally, dropping one over short for a single, and Darnell McDonald followed that with a smash off the Monster. Ross was held up at third, with the Sox only having one out, and it turned out to be a good decision.
Mike Aviles continued his success against Garcia, getting a hit to center that sent in Ross. Ryan Sweeney sent McDonald home on a sacrifice fly to add another run for Boston. Aviles stole second with Pedroia at the plate, then Pedroia scored him on his single.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Doubront is looking good. He's really zipping those pitches in there, and it pays off with his first two strikeouts of the afternoon, getting Curtis Granderson on three pitches and Russell Martin swinging.
After Friday's home run derby at Fenway, it's nice to see Doubront getting to the sluggers. Granderson shelled three home runs in four innings against the Twins on Thursday night, and Martin had one of the bombs over the Green Monster in Friday's game.
Doubront did walk his second batter of the game, but it was on a full-count low pitch to Andruw Jones that just missed. Doubront has thrown 38 pitches so far.
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Boston has gotten its much-needed offense.
Doubles by Ryan Sweeney, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz put the Red Sox ahead in the first.
Sweeney got his money's worth out of his first at-bat. He sent a double into left field on the eighth pitch he saw from Freddy Garcia, getting on base on a full count after fouling off three pitches.
Gonzalez then put the Red Sox on the board. He crushed a ball out to right, and it dropped on the warning track and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. That was enough to score Sweeney from second.
Ortiz followed with a two-strike double that he ripped right inside the third-base line. Gonzalez came around to score. All three batters looked very comfortable and patient against Garcia, a great sign for the Sox.
Mike Aviles flew out to left to start the inning, and Dustin Pedroia popped up behind home. A Kevin Youkilis grounder to short ended the inning, but the Sox have the coveted early lead in this one.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Derek Jeter continues his hot streak with a solid flare to right. He's batting .359 this season — probably the last thing the Red Sox want to deal with after it looked like Numbah Two was finally on his way out last season.
Doubront threw a nice pitch to get Nick Swisher in a double play, though, and then got Alex Rodriguez out on a weak grounder to short.
But it wasn't without drama. Doubront looked a little wild pitching to Robinson Cano, laying a few of those heaters in near his elbows and face en route to the walk. Cano also got a free trip to second when Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to squeeze a pitch too fast. All in all, though, the Red Sox come out unscathed, and we can chalk up the first inning shakiness to jitters.
Mike Aviles, Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia are due up, and the Red Sox could really use a game where they get ahead early. Boston has led only 26 total innings this year. A run or two will take some pressure off of Doubront and get the offense into the game.
4:05 p.m.: First pitch time. Felix Doubront hasn't been lights-out this season, but he's been decent compared to the rest of the rotation. A surprise in the starting rotation coming out of spring training, he could silence the doubters and put the Red Sox in position for a win with a good performance today.
3:50 p.m.: Just about game time here, but in Boston, attention is of course divided today. The Bruins are looking to get an edge on the pesky Washington Capitals at home. It's been a nerve-wracking series, and it's had more drama than Sox-Yankees so far this year. That could all change this afternoon, though, if the bats come alive again.
3:30 p.m.: That's a lot of familiar faces in the lineup, although the order is a bit different. Bobby Valentine has Mike Aviles leading off again, and the shortstop has earned that spot so far this season. He is 8-for-24 in the No. 1 spot, and he's also 8-for-14 (that’s .571) against Freddy Garcia. For the rest of the Red Sox, the best mark against Garcia going into today's game would be Dustin Pedroia, who is 4-for-14 (.286).
Some more tidbits in the Yankees-Red Sox matchup: Boston and New York have played 186 regular-season games since 2002, and each have won 93, with the Sox having the edge in runs scored (plus 36).
The Red Sox have faced Garcia 22 times; he's 9-4 with a 4.45 ERA against them. The Yankees have only faced Doubront in relief. He's 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 4.2 innings against New York. Only six Yankees have faced Doubront (Russell Martin, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Derek Jeter), none of them in more than three at-bats.
3:15 p.m.: We've got some lineups for you.
Mike Aviles, SS
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Cody Ross, CF
Darnell McDonald, LF
Derek Jeter, DH
Nick Swisher, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Curtis Granderson, CF
Andruw Jones, LF
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox take the field Saturday afternoon for a more normal game against the division rival Highlanders — er, Yankees.
With Fenway’s 100th officially over, the Red Sox will once again be aiming to put the past behind and get wins in the present. After an emotional day at Fenway Park on Friday ended on a sour note with the Yankees winning 6-2, the Red Sox (4-9) will start the stabilizing Felix Doubront (0-0).
The young lefty hasn't been incredible in his first two outings, but he's been solid enough that Boston should be able to get something going around him. Doubront pitched five innings each against the Blue Jays and the Rays, striking out 13 and giving up six earned runs over the two games.
Even better for the Red Sox is the man who will take the mound for the Yankees (8-6). Journeyman Freddy Garcia (0-1) has pitched 10 1/3 innings over his two starts, racking up a 6.97 ERA against the Orioles and the Twins. His start against Baltimore was especially intriguing, as the usually in-control Garcia threw five wild pitches. A weak link in the Yankees' rotation, Garcia could be the best spot for the Red Sox to capitalize against a New York team that is still finding its footing early in the season.
Manager Bobby Valentine has been switching up the lineup pretty consistently, but expect Ryan Sweeney to get another look high in the batting order. Sweeney has hit safely in 10 of this season's 11 games, and he's batting .405 going into Saturday. David Ortiz has also continued to perform well. His homer Friday was part of a 2-for-4 day that lifted his average to .392.
Boston leads New York 463-462-4 all-time at Fenway Park, and after the pressure that's accompanied the new manager, the slow start and the historic celebration, the Red Sox will look to shake off any remaining malaise and grab a win or two before Monday's road trip to Minnesota.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Check back here for news and analysis from the game.