Mauro Gomez and Mike Carp each worked a walk in the ninth inning, and Gomez would come around to score on a wild pitch, but that was all the Red Sox could muster up.
Boston’s bats were silent for much of the afternoon, as Mike Napoli’s solo home run back in the second inning was the Sox’ only offense until the ninth. The Yankees, meanwhile, got to Joel Hanrahan for three runs in the sixth inning, and never looked back after grabbing the lead.
Hanrahan couldn’t make it through the sixth, as he was hit hard and struggled with his control. Andrew Bailey and Pete Ruiz allowed the other two runs in the eighth and ninth inning, respectively. The rest of the Red Sox’ hurlers pitched pretty well on Sunday, including starter Ryan Dempster.
Dempster pitched three scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two. He was very efficient with his pitches, and it’s the second straight encouraging outing for Dempster, as he tossed two perfect frames in his spring debut on Tuesday.
The Red Sox will be back in action at JetBlue Park against the Rays on Monday. The game’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET. Felix Doubront will make his first start of the spring for Boston.
Mid 9th, Yankees 5-1: Pete Ruiz came on to pitch the ninth inning, and he was greeted rather unpleasantly.
Thomas Neal used an inside out swing to launch a home run into the bullpen in right-center. The next batter, Tyler Austin, made a bid for a longball himself, but instead settled for a double when the ball dropped on the warning track in left-center.
Either Jeremy Hazelbaker or Mitch Maier should have been able to make a play on Austin’s towering fly ball, but it was misplayed. Hazelbaker sprawled out for the ball, but it was just out of his reach.
Things didn’t get any easier from there, as Rob Segedin worked a walk to put runners at first and second for Austin Romine. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Ruiz was able to buckle down and record three straight outs.
Romine struck out for the first out of the inning and Ronnier Mustelier flew out to left field for out No. 2. Addison Maruszak then put a charge into one toward the gap in right-center, but Maier was able to make a running catch to end the inning and keep the deficit at four.
End 8th, Yankees 4-1: It’s a tough day to be an infielder.
Two innings after Drew Sutton made two costly gaffes for the Red Sox, Yankees third baseman Rob Segedin and shortstop Addison Maruszak each made a throwing error in the eighth. Fortunately for the Yankees, neither miscue led to any damage on the scoreboard.
After Ryan Lavarnway reached on the error by Segedin, Pedro Ciriaco chopped one right back down to the third baseman. Segedin was able to make the play and fire to second for one out, but Ciriaco beat out Jose Pirela’s throw to first to avoid the double play.
Ciriaco then swiped second base, which put a runner in scoring position for Mitch Maier. Maier responded by hitting a groundball to short. Maruszak made the routine play, but his throw soared high, allowing Maier to reach safely.
With runners at first and second, Josh Spence came on to pitch for New York. The first batter he faced, Justin Henry, hit a chopper down to first. Luke Murton was able to make a backhanded play and fire to second base for the second out of the inning.
The Red Sox’ rally came to an end when Brock Holt grounded out to second base.
Mid 8th, Yankees 4-1: It looked as if Andrew Bailey was going to breeze right through the eighth inning, but the Yankees’ bats woke up with two outs and pushed across a run.
Bailey struck out Ronnier Mustelier and Addison Maruszak to begin the inning, but Jose Pirela and JR Murphy proved to be worthy adversaries.
Pirela ripped a double into the right-center field gap to get the offense rolling. Murphy followed up with a double of his own down the left-field line into the corner.
Bailey bounced back to strike out Luke Murton, but not before New York increased its lead.
End 7th, Yankees 3-1: Seven innings are in the books, and the Yankees hold a two-run lead.
Daniel Nava was the first Boston hitter to take his cuts against Chase Whitley in the bottom of the seventh. He grounded out to the first baseman Luke Murton for the first out.
The next two hitters, Drew Sutton and Mike Carp, wouldn’t fare much better. Sutton, who made two big errors in the Yankees’ three-run sixth inning, grounded out to shortstop, and Carp struck out in his first at-bat.
Mid 7th, Yankees 3-1: Junichi Tazawa has settled things down since coming in the game for Joel Hanrahan.
Tazawa struck out the first two Yankees hitters he faced in the seventh inning, and then got Austin Romine to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Tyler Austin and Rob Segedin were the strikeout victims.
End 6th, Yankees 3-1: The Red Sox came to the plate for the first time while trailing in the sixth inning, and they were unable to make up any ground.
Dustin Pedroia, Stephen Drew and Mauro Gomez, who was batting for the first time since entering the game, were retired in order.
Pedroia grounded out to third base, and Drew lined out to right field. Gomez then grounded out to end the inning.
The Yankees made a whole bunch of changes before the sixth inning. Ronnier Mustelier, Addison Maruszak, JR Murphy, Tyler Austin, Rob Segedin, Austin Romine, Luke Murton and Jose Pirela are now in the game.
Mid 6th, Yankees 3-1: Joel Hanrahan struck out Zoilo Almonte to begin the sixth inning, but then quickly found himself in a world of trouble.
Corban Joseph singled to center field to get the rally going. Drew Sutton, who took over at third base for Will Middlebrooks, then made an error to put runners at first and second with one out.
Hanrahan ran into some control issues from there. He threw a ball in the dirt, and while David Ross was able to block it, the ball kicked away, allowing both runners to advance. The big righty would eventually walk Brett Gardner to load the bases.
Eduardo Nunez put the Yankees on the scoreboard with a base hit into right field. Jayson Nix followed that up with a groundball to short. Stephen Drew tried to start a double play, but Nix was able to beat out the throw at first base while another run crossed the plate.
Sutton’s inning really took a turn for the worse with two outs. Having already made an error in the inning, Sutton bobbled a ground ball off the bat of Juan Rivera, which resulted in New York’s third run of the game.
Hanrahan’s day would end after he walked Dan Johnson to again load the bases. Junichi Tazawa took over on the hill, and he escaped any further damage by striking out Melky Mesa.
End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox were 90 feet away from a second run, but the Yankees ensured the deficit remained at one.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia started off the inning with a hit into left field. Salty showed some great hustle, and he was able to stretch the hit into a double, despite at first looking like he’d be out by about 15 feet.
Saltalamacchia was then lifted for a pinch runner in Mark Carp, and Carp would advance to third base when Jackie Bradley Jr. flew out to center field with one out.
Jacoby Ellsbury nearly knocked in the second run with a hit to the right side. Jayson Nix gobbled it up, though, and he fired the throw over to the pitcher Jose Ramirez, who was covering the bag, just in time to record the third out.
Joel Hanrahan will pitch the sixth inning for Boston.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox’ pitching has been very impressive in this game. Andrew Miller was the most recent hurler to provide some effective work.
Miller struck out the side in the fifth inning. He sat down Juan Rivera, Dan Johnson and Melky Mesa in order, and showed an ability to get swings and misses in a variety of ways. Miller recorded one strikeout with his fastball and two with his slider.
Miller is sort of an overlooked reliever in Boston’s strong bullpen, but he could become a very valuable long reliever. The lefty certainly has the stuff.
End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox threatened to score in the fourth inning after the first two batters reached safely, but Jose Ramirez eventually walked away unscathed.
Dustin Pedroia kicked off the inning with a single, and Stephen Drew followed up by lining a base hit of his own into right field. That was where Boston’s threat would come to an abrupt stop.
Ramirez pulled the string on Mike Napoli, and the slugger whiffed for the first out of the inning. Daniel Nava then flew out to center field, which allowed Pedroia to tag up and move to third base. It didn’t matter, though, as Will Middlebrooks ended the threat with a groundout.
Andrew Miller is coming on to pitch for Boston.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Koji Uehara was the first pitcher out of the Red Sox bullpen, and he cruised through the Yankees’ lineup.
The first batter, Brett Gardner, skied at fly ball to right field. Jackie Bradley Jr. showed a quick first step, though, and he easily hauled it in for the inning’s first out. It was a relatively simple play, yet Bradley’s instincts were really on display as he glided toward the baseball.
Uehara then got Eduard Nunez to ground out to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who had to hurry the throw in order to record the out. The inning ended with Jayson Nix flying out to shallow center field.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Adam Warren was able to bounce back from giving up the second-inning blast to Mike Napoli to pitch a scoreless third inning.
Warren looked solid in the frame, striking out David Ross and Jackie Bradley Jr. to begin the inning. He then retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a weak groundout to the shortstop, Eduardo Nunez.
Retiring Bradley has been no easy feat this spring. Entering his first at-bat of the game, the 22-year-old outfielder had been 8-for-15. He’s been drawing rave reviews from many people this offseason, including manager John Farrell.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Ryan Dempster’s day is likely over with three innings in the books. The right-hander again looked very impressive, though.
Dempster got Zoilo Almonte to ground out to first base to start the third, and he then struck out Corban Joseph looking. The righty ended the inning by getting Bobby Wilson to ground out to Will Middlebrooks at third base.
Dempster didn’t allow a run in his three innings of work, and he allowed just one hit. The veteran also fanned two Yankees hitters.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Mike Napoli passed all of the tests put in front of him during his spring training debut on Friday night. Now, he looks locked in.
Napoli led off the second inning with a blast to center field. The slugger knew right away that he got a good piece of it, and the ball easily cleared the wall in center field.
Daniel Nava then got a hold of one to the opposite field, but Brett Gardner was able to backtrack and haul it in just in front of JetBlue Park’s version of the Green Monster for the first out.
Will Middlebrooks, playing in his second game since leaving Wednesday’s contest against the Orioles with a wrist injury, worked a one-out walk, but Warren got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground into an inning-ending double play to avoid any further damage.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Ryan Dempster looked impressive in his first performance of the spring, and he’s not looking too shabby against the Yankees either.
Dempster got Juan Rivera to ground out to shortstop to begin the inning, and he then struck out Dan Johnson for the second out. Dempster capped off the frame by getting Melky Mesa to ground out to Will Middlebrooks at third base.
It’s good to see Middlebrooks showing no ill effects of the wrist injury that knocked him out of Wednesday’s game.
End 1st, 0-0: Adam Warren was able to keep the Red Sox off the scoreboard in the first inning by way of a very easy, 1-2-3 frame.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia each grounded out to begin the game. Then, Stephen Drew — who is hitting out of the No. 3 spot with Shane Victorino having departed for the World Baseball Baseball classic — hit a little bouncer back to the mound that Warren was able to field cleanly for the final out.
After one inning, it’s Red Sox 0, Random assortment of players in the Yankees organization 0.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Ryan Dempster gave up a leadoff hit to Brett Gardner, but the Yankees were unable to do anything with it.
Gardner hit a slow roller to short to begin the game. Stephen Drew charged in and tried to make a barehanded play, but he was unable to corral the dribbler, which allowed Gardner to reach.
Gardner, who is always a threat to steal, was quickly wiped off the basepaths, though. Eduardo Nunez hit a bouncer over the mound that Dustin Pedroia snagged before stepping on second and starting a double play.
Jayson Nix flew out to center field to end the inning.
1:36 p.m.: We’re underway at JetBlue Park…
1:34 p.m.: We’re almost ready for baseball, but first, I’d like to point out that Sunday marks Military and Veterans Appreciation Day at JetBlue Park. The pregame ceremony included a seat dedication and a moment of silence in honor of prisoners of war and those missing in action. The seat, which has been permanently placed at the base of the center-field flag pole, will remain unoccupied.
A big thanks to all you troops out there. I respect the heck out of you.
12:42 p.m.: The Yankees’ lineup card is in, and there are plenty of names on it that might sound unfamiliar.
Sneak a peek below.
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Jayson Nix, 2B
Juan Rivera, DH
Dan Johnson, 1B
Melky Mesa, CF
Zoilo Almonte, RF
Corban Joseph, 3B
Bobby Wilson, C
Adam Warren, P
11:20 a.m.: The Sox will don the home whites against the Yankees on Sunday. They’ll rock the whites three more times after that — March 8, 19 and 27.
Plenty of regulars fill John Farrell’s lineup card to start, including Will Middlebrooks, who will be playing in his second consecutive game after sitting out Thursday and Friday. Mike Napoli, who made his spring training debut on Friday, will also be in the lineup. He’ll once again bat cleanup and play first base.
One player to watch in this game is Jackie Bradley Jr. Not only has he been red hot this spring, but he’ll get the start in right field against the Yankees. Typically, as you probably already know, Bradley is a center fielder, so the decision to play him at the corner outfield positions seems to indicate that Farrell might seriously consider adding Bradley to the big league roster out of camp if the 22-year-old continues to impress. Farrell didn’t rule out the possibility when asked about Bradley making the Opening Day roster, and although it’s likely the outfielder will begin the season in the minors, it’ll certainly be a difficult decision for the Sox skipper if things keep going the way they’re going. Bradley is 8-for-15 with a double, walk, four runs and a stolen base thus far.
The rest of Boston’s lineup is below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Stephen Drew, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH
David Ross, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Ryan Dempster, P
11 a.m ET: Sunday afternoon will give us our first glimpse of Red Sox-Yankees action in 2013. It’ll also be Ryan Dempster’s first taste of the rivalry.
The Sox will host the Bronx Bombers at JetBlue Park, with Dempster toeing the rubber when the game kicks off at 1:35 p.m. The clash is the first of two between the bitter AL East rivals this spring, and it sets the stage for their 19 regular season showdowns, which will start on Opening Day in New York.
The Red Sox have opened up the season against the Yankees 28 times in their history, with the most recent instance coming in 2010. That showdown was hosted at Fenway, but the last time the Sox opened up in New York was in 2005.
We’ve still got a month before regular season action comes upon us, though. It’s rapidly approaching, but let’s focus at the task at hand, shall we?
Dempster will be making his second appearance this spring. In his first outing, the veteran tossed two perfect innings with two strikeouts against the Cardinals. He’s expected to be followed up by Junichi Tazawa, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey and Koji Uehara on Sunday.
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