The Yankees exploded for four runs on five hits in the second inning, and it proved to be the game’s only offense. Vidal Nuno pitched five solid frames as the Yankees earned a 4-0 win over Felix Doubront and the Red Sox.
Doubront started off the game on the right foot, striking out two while tossing a scoreless first. The left-hander was lit up in the second inning, though, which was all the Bronx Bombers needed in order to secure a victory.
Doubront allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one in the loss, while Nuno pitched well on the other side for New York. Nuno allowed just two hits in his five shutout innings.
Boston’s offense was only able to muster up four hits. Two of the hits came off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., who continues to make his case for a big league roster spot out of camp.
The Red Sox’ pitching was once again solid — with the exception of Doubront’s second-inning implosion. Andrew Bailey, Joel Hanrahan, Clayton Mortensen and Andrew Miller all held the Yankees scoreless.
The Sox will be back in action on Thursday night against the Phillies at JetBlue Park. John Lackey is set to get the start. His first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and all of the awesomeness can be found on NESN.
End 8th, Yankees 4-0: Andrew Miller issued a leadoff walk and had to throw 20 pitches in the inning, but he kept it a 4-0 game.
Miller went to a full count against Dan Johnson before walking him. Johnson would then move up to second base when Addison Maruszak chopped out slowly to Jonathan Diaz.
Miller struck out Jose Pirela swinging and got Bobby Wilson to fly out to center to cap off the inning, and Boston will now take its cuts in the ninth down by four.
Mark Montgomery will try to close the game out for the Yankees.
Mid 8th, Yankees 4-0: Josh Spence started the inning for New York, and Cody Eppley ended it. Both pitchers did their job.
Spence came on to replace Joba Chamberlain, who worked the seventh, and he retired Ryan Sweeney on a comebacker to the mound. It looked as if Spence was hit in the hand, though, and he was forced to exit the game after just the one batter.
Eppley then came on and faced Drew Sutton and Jose Iglesias. Sutton flew out to right field, and Iglesias struck out swinging to end the inning.
Andrew Miller will pitch the bottom of the eighth and try to keep this a four-run game.
The Red Sox have also made some substitutions. Jonathan Diaz, Christian Vazquez and Jonathan Hee are in. Brock Holt, David Ross and Jose Iglesias are out.
End 7th, Yankees 4-0: The Red Sox have once again gotten some good pitching, with the exception of the Yankees’ big, four-run second.
The Yankees banged out five hits during that productive inning, but they’ve been held to just two additional hits in the other six frames. Still, though, New York’s pitching has been just that much better, and the Bronx Bombers hold a 4-0 edge as we head to the eighth.
Clayton Mortensen came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh for Boston, and he easily retired the side in order.
Brett Gardner hit a line drive into left field that Daniel Nava tracked down for the first out, and Eduardo Nunez then grounded out to second.
Kevin Youkilis stepped up to the plate with two outs, and Mortensen got to two strikes on him before Youk popped up in the infield. Youkilis is now 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Mid 7th, Yankees 4-0: There’s been some talk recently that perhaps Joba Chamberlain is falling out of favor in New York. Some solid innings could go a long way toward restoring faith in the polarizing right-hander, though.
Chamberlain enjoyed a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Mauro Gomez lined out sharply to Brett Gardner in left field for the first out. Chamberlain then struck out Mike Carp before David Ross flew out to center field for the third out.
A report surfaced recently that the Texas Rangers were scouting Chamberlain. If the Rangers are indeed interested, they’ll definitely like what they saw in the seventh.
End 6th, Yankees 4-0: Boston’s catchers continue to do a nice job with runners on base.
David Ross gunned down Melky Mesa trying to steal second base to end the sixth inning, and it continues what has been a rather impressive defensive spring overall by the team’s backstops.
With the most recent caught stealing, Red Sox catchers have thrown out 11 of 23 attempted base stealers this spring. That has them tied with the Rays for the best mark in the American League.
A lot of Boston’s success in gunning down runners has come with Christian Vazquez — who has since been optioned to Double-A Portland — behind the dish. It’s certainly an encouraging sign to see such production from the catchers, though, as it really helps out the club’s pitching staff, which has also performed admirably.
The Yankees were held off the scoreboard in the sixth. Joba Chamberlain will pitch for New York in the seventh.
Mid 6th, Yankees 4-0: Daniel Nava singled up the middle with one out, but David Robertson managed to cool down the red-hot Jackie Bradley Jr. and keep the Yankees’ four-run lead intact.
Robertson struck out Brock Holt looking before Nava delivered his single. As quickly as Nava reached, however, the threat ended. Bradley grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
The play was pretty close at first, but it looked as if Nunez’s throw beat Bradley by a step. Nunez actually delivered the throw while flat-footed, which looked a bit strange despite getting the job done.
Joel Hanrahan will pitch the sixth inning for the Red Sox.
End 5th, Yankees 4-0: Andrew Bailey now has four straight scoreless outings to his credit — assuming his day is done.
Bailey replaced Felix Doubront after Juan Rivera flew out to right field to lead off. Bailey got Ben Francisco to ground out, and he then struck out Jayson Nix, who fouled into David Ross’ mitt for the final out of the inning.
The hard-throwing David Robertson will come on for the Yankees in the sixth.
Mid 5th, Yankees 4-0: Drew Sutton’s error in the fourth inning allowed Eduardo Nunez to reach. Nunez returned the favor in the fifth.
Nunez’s error didn’t lead to any blemishes on the scoreboard, though. Vidal Nuno got the next batter, Jose Iglesias, to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, with Nunez starting the twin killing.
End 4th, Yankees 4-0: Kevin Youkilis had a chance to extend the Yankees’ lead, but he fanned for the second time in this game and is now 0-for-3.
Felix Doubront got two quick outs to begin the fourth inning, but Drew Sutton couldn’t handle Brett Gardner’s groundball to third base, and the the inning stayed alive.
Doubront gave Gardner plenty of attention over at first base after he reached, and understandably so. Gardner stole 49 bases in 2011 and 47 bases in 2010 — the two highest single-season totals for a Yankees player since 1989.
Doubront even utilized a slide step while facing Eduardo Nunez, but the attention he paid to Gardner ultimately led to Nunez roping a base hit into left field. Youkilis’ strikeout ended the inning, though.
Mid 4th, Yankees 4-0: Vidal Nuno’s solid spring has extended into this game.
Nuno retired Mauro Gomez, Mike Carp and David Ross in order in the fourth inning. Gomez and Ross flew out to left field while Carp lined out softly to second base.
It was another easy inning for Nuno, who continues to make quick work of the Red Sox. He’s pounding the strike zone and getting into a rhythm, which has kept the Boston offense in check.
As mentioned, Nuno enjoyed a nice season last year in the Yankees’ minor league system. He went 10-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 31 games (21 starts) split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.
End 3rd, Yankees 4-0: Felix Doubront bounced back from giving up four runs in the second inning to keep the Yankees off the scoreboard in the third.
Juan Rivera flew out to center for the first out, and Doubront struck out Ben Francisco looking for the second out.
With two outs, Doubront got to two strikes on Jayson Nix, but Nix ripped a 3-2 pitch into left field.
Doubront got Chris Stewart to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Yankees 4-0: Vidal Nuno breezed through the first two hitters before the Red Sox started to threaten. Nuno still managed to hold Boston scoreless.
Drew Sutton and Jose Iglesias kept Kevin Youkilis on his toes down at third base. They grounded out to the former Red Sox infielder to give Nuno and the Yankees two quick outs.
After that, it was back to the top of the order. Brock Holt singled into center, and Daniel Nava walked, setting the table for the scorching Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley, who doubled down the left-field line in his first at-bat, threatened to drop one into the left-center field gap. Brett Gardner tracked it down, though, and we’re still looking at a 4-0 Yankees lead.
Felix Doubront will come back out looking for better results in the third inning.
End 2nd, Yankees 4-0: The Yankees really hit Felix Doubront hard in the second.
Juan Rivera got the ball rolling with a hard line drive into center field for a base hit. Ben Francisco, who was recently added to further spark the team’s outfield competition, then grounded down the left-field line. Drew Sutton tried to snag it on the backhand, but it was out of his reach, and Francisco ended up at second base with a double.
The Yankees got on the scoreboard when Jayson Nix lifted a sac fly to right. That was just the beginning of a long, long inning for Doubront, though.
Chris Stewart, Thomas Neal and Melky Mesa then struck three straight singles, with Mesa’s dropping just in front of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field. That put the game at 2-0.
The lead would increase a batter later, when Doubront fired a wild pitch to the backstop, allowing Chris Stewart to score New York’s third run.
The Yankees upped the lead to 4-0 on a sac fly by Eduardo Nunez.
Overall, the Yankees plated four runs on five hits. The inning ended with Kevin Youkilis striking out.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Vidal Nuno, who works at a brisk pace, enjoyed a quick inning in the second.
Mike Carp started off the inning by popping out to the shortstop, and David Ross then gave one a ride to left-center, which Melky Mesa hauled in easily.
Ryan Sweeney got a pretty good piece of Nuno’s two-strike offering with two outs, sending Brett Gardner back tracking. The Yankees left fielder was able to use his impressive speed, though, and he tracked it down to end the inning.
Nuno entered the game having allowed just one run in 8 1/3 innings this spring. He now has two more scoreless frames in this one.
End 1st, 0-0: Good stuff from Felix Doubront in the first inning. He retired the side in order while striking out the first two hitters he faced.
Doubront struck out Brett Gardner looking with a nasty slider. The lefty then fanned Eduardo Nunez with a high fastball.
Kevin Youkilis ended the inning by grounding out to Drew Sutton at third base.
Doubront continues to K hitters at an impressive rate. He entered the game with 11 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings this spring.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jackie Bradley Jr. just keeps on hitting.
Yankees starter Vidal Nuno, who had a great 2012 season while pitching in the minors, got two quick outs. First, he got Brock Holt to line out softly to Eduardo Nunez at short. He then got Daniel Nava to bounce out to Kevin Youkilis at third base for the second out.
That’s when Bradley came up, and before he could even be properly introduced, the hot-hitting outfielder drove a double down the left-field line. Bradley kept his head down and put a nice swing on it.
Nuno bounced back, though, and retired Mauro Gomez.
Bradley’s bid to crack the Opening Day roster will continue to be one of the biggest storylines over the final 12 days of spring training. I wrote earlier this week why the Red Sox should start him in the minors to begin the year, even if it proves to be an unpopular decision. What do you all think?
Manager John Farrell did say that the Red Sox have no plans to play Bradley in left field. In other words, if he makes the Opening Day roster, he’ll likely play right field. Shane Victorino would then move to right while Jonny Gomes starts at DH in David Ortiz’s absence.
1:05 p.m.: There had been some rain in the Tampa area, but things are looking OK for now. Let’s play some baseball.
1 p.m.: We’re just about ready for some day baseball.
Wednesday’s game will hardly contain the excitement of April 1’s season opener, but it’s always interesting when these two teams meet up. They’ll do so 19 times during the 2013 regular season.
The Red Sox went a dismal 5-13 against the Yankees in 2012. It was Boston’s first season series loss to New York since 2007, when the Sox went 8-10.
This season marks the first time Boston will open up in the Bronx since 2005. The Red Sox have opened the regular season against the Yankees 28 times — more than they have opened against
any other opponent.
11:35 a.m.: The Red Sox have a few ongoing positional battles, and Wednesday will give us a good glimpse of those.
Jose Iglesias, Brock Holt and Drew Sutton will all be in the lineup. They had been fighting for an infield bench spot all spring, and the battle heated up recently with the news that shortstop Stephen Drew might not be ready for Opening Day. Right now, it looks like Iglesias may have the leg up in the open competition, but Holt and Sutton are all looking to prove they deserve a shot with the big club at some point this season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will also be in Wednesday’s lineup. His red-hot spring has been well-documented, and he’s still doing all he can to prove he deserves to make the Opening Day roster. The 23-year-old enters Wednesday hitting .439 (18-for-41) with a home run and five RBIs. Bradley’s .439 average ranks second in the Grapefruit League, and his .549 on-base percentage ranks first among spring qualifiers.
Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Mauro Gomez and Ryan Sweeney — all of whom would like to make the team in some capacity — are in the lineup as well.
Check out the lineups below.
Brock Holt, 2B
Daniel Nava, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Mauro Gomez, DH
Mike Carp, LF
David Ross, C
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Drew Sutton, 3B
Jose Iglesias, SS
Felix Doubront, P
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Juan Rivera, 1B
Ben Francisco, RF
Jayson Nix, 2B
Chris Stewart, C
Thomas Neal, DH
Melky Mesa, CF
Vidal Nuno, P
8 a.m. ET: Take a good, long look. Wednesday marks the last time the Red Sox and Yankees will share a field before the games start counting for real.
The Sox and Yanks will play the second of their two spring training matchups on Wednesday. Boston dropped a 5-1 decision to New York at JetBlue Park on March 3. The two teams, of course, will open up the season against each other in the Bronx on April 1.
Felix Doubront will get the start for Boston on Wednesday. Like much of the Red Sox’ pitching staff, he’s pitched well this spring. The left-hander tossed four scoreless innings in his most recent start against the Twins on Friday, and he’s allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out 11 in 8 2/3 innings overall. Boston’s starters have combined for a 2.31 ERA (21 earned runs in 81 2/3 innings) over 26 games this spring.
Doubront will be followed by Clayton Mortensen, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Anthony Carter and Joel Hanrahan. The game’s first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 1:05 p.m. ET.