Final, Red Sox 11-1: Koji Uehara finished the job in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox bounce back for a convincing 11-1 win.
Boston racked up 11 runs and 18 hits in the victory, which comes just one night after the Red Sox’ offense was held to one run by CC Sabathia and Co.
Mike Napoli’s grand slam highlighted a five-run third inning that set the tempo. The Red Sox then put the game away late behind home runs from Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew.
Napoli finished the game with three hits, while Nava went 4-for-6 with four RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits, and Drew, Jose Iglesias and Mike Carp did as well.
Felix Doubront pitched six solid innings to pick up his fourth win of the season. He wasn’t dominant, but he is definitely starting to show improvement after some shaky outings earlier in the year.
The Red Sox’ victory sets up a rubber match on Sunday. Clay Buchholz and Hiroki Kuroda will square off, and the action will start up at 8 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 11-1: The Red Sox’ offense is piling it on.
Stephen Drew got a pitch he could drive, and he did just that. Drew connected on a one-out, solo homer to give the Red Sox a 9-1 lead.
Boston wasn’t done, though.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, smoked a ball over Brett Gardner’s head in center field. The ball kicked up over the fence for a ground-rule double.
Jose Iglesias, who flashed some leather during the last half inning, picked up his second hit of the game. He dropped a single in front of Vernon Wells in left field, and Saltalamacchia came around from second base with Boston’s 10th run.
Jackie Bradley Jr. followed up with a double down the left-field line, which put runners at second and third for Daniel Nava, who homered in the eighth. Nava grounded out to shortstop, but Iglesias scored to give the Red Sox an even 10-run cushion.
The Sox have racked up 11 runs on 18 hits, and it comes just one night after they were shut down by CC Sabathia and Co.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-1: Jose Iglesias really is fun to watch.
Craig Breslow breezed through the eighth inning, which ended with a great play by Iglesias, who keeps flashing the leather regardless of where he plays.
After Robinson Cano grounded out and Mark Teixeira struck out, Vernon Wells hit a slow roller down the third-base line. Iglesias charged in with a full head of steam, made the play and got rid of the ball about as quick as you possibly can as an infielder.
Iglesias’ play was fantastic, and it was even more impressive because of how routine he made it look.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 8-1: The Red Sox have opened this game up a bit, thanks to Daniel Nava.
Nava, who singled in three straight at-bats, crushed a three-run homer into the seats in right-center field. He’s now 4-for-5 in his second game out of the leadoff spot, showing once again that he can wear any hat the Red Sox slap on him.
Adam Warren tried to go upstairs with a fastball to Nava. It was actually up around the lettering, but Nava somehow got on top of it, and he absolutely drilled it.
Prior to Nava’s dinger, which was his eighth of the season, Jose Iglesias and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit back-to-back singles. Iglesias’ hit dropped just in front of Vernon Wells in left field, and Bradley’s knock was yanked into right field, which allowed Iglesias to take third base.
Warren settled down to retire the next three hitters, including David Ortiz, who struck out to end the inning. The Red Sox are in total control of this one, though.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-1: Junichi Tazawa did what he usually does in the seventh inning, and the Red Sox are six outs away from a victory.
Austin Romine grounded out to third base, Brett Gardner flied out to left field and Kevin Youkilis struck out swinging. Youkilis has now struck out three times in this game.
There’s a quick injury update to pass along as well. Yankees catcher Chris Stewart, who exited after the fourth inning, apparently left the game because of dehydration.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox still own a four-run lead, but they’ve missed some chances.
The latest missed opportunity came in the seventh inning, when the Red Sox put the first two men on, but then failed to score.
David Ortiz led off the inning with a walk. Mike Napoli, whose grand slam is still the difference, then pulled a ball into the 5-6 hole. Shortstop Jayson Nix made a nice, backhanded play, but his throw to second base was off the mark, and both Ortiz and Napoli reached their destinations safely.
Adam Warren, who took over on the mound before the inning started, bounced back to get a big double play. Stephen Drew bounced to Robinson Cano, who kicked of the easy, 4-6-3 twin killing.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia ended the inning by striking out for the third time. He’s now 0-for-4.
Doubront’s night is, in fact, over, as Junichi Tazawa will pitch the bottom of the seventh inning. Doubront gave up just one run on six hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out six and threw 103 pitches (62 strikes). The lefty had a few hiccups with his control, particularly early on, but it was definitely an encouraging outing.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-1: Felix Doubront’s night looks like it’s over, and it’s hard to complain about the results.
Doubront yielded a two-out single in the sixth inning, but he kept the Yankees off the scoreboard, and he’ll now likely depart after six solid innings. Junichi Tazawa has been warming up in the bullpen, and Doubront received some congratulatory handshakes after returning to the dugout.
David Adams was the only man to reach in the sixth. Beyond that, Doubront retired Vernon Wells on a popup to Dustin Pedroia in short right field, and he retired Jayson Nix and Ichiro Suzuki on flyouts.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-1: Daniel Nava is having himself a nice night out of the leadoff spot. He has singled in each of his last three at-bats.
Nava hit a line-drive single after Preston Caliborne — who also pitched the tail end of the fifth inning — retired Jose Iglesias and Jackie Bradley Jr. to begin the sixth. Nava has been a great on-base guy all season, and it was reasonable to think that he was the next man up — beyond perhaps Shane Victorino, who is injured — when Jacoby Ellsbury struggled out of the leadoff spot in May.
Mike Carp, who hit an RBI double to kick off the Red Sox’ scoring earlier, added to the threat by dropping a base hit in front of Vernon Wells in left field.
Claiborne avoided any damage by getting Dustin Pedroia to hit a lazy fly ball to right field.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-1: Dustin Pedroia needed to dirty his jersey up a bit.
Pedroia made a great diving play in the fifth inning. His Yankees counterpart, Robinson Cano, grounded a ball up the middle with one out. Pedroia ranged to his right and made an excellent backhanded snag before firing a strong throw to first to complete the out.
Pedroia has played Gold Glove caliber defense all season. It’s interesting, though, that his latest Web Gem came against his biggest competitor when it comes to taking home that hardware.
Felix Doubront struck out Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira as part of the 1-2-3 inning. Youkilis whiffed on a curveball, and Teixeira fanned on a cut-fastball.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-1: Phil Hughes’ night ended in the fifth inning.
Hughes started the inning and gave up a single to Dustin Pedroia. Jayson Nix made a nice effort, but the ball scooted into center field. Hughes’ outing ended after he struck out David Ortiz.
The Yankees called upon Preston Claiborne at that point, and Claiborne struck out Mike Napoli in the slugger’s first at-bat since his third-inning grand slam. Claiborne took a little off to get Napoli swinging.
Stephen Drew then singled into center field to put runners at first and second for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but Salty went down on strikes. Claiborne caught Saltalamacchia looking with a 95-mph fastball, and it marks the second time that the Red Sox catcher has struck out in this game.
Austin Romine replaced Chris Stewart behind the plate before the inning started. It’s unclear what ailment Stewart left with.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-1: Sometimes, the first run is the most difficult to score.
The Yankees certainly hope that’s the case, as they broke through for their first run of the game in the fourth inning. It came on a sacrifice fly from Chris Stewart.
The Yankees’ offense went to work immediately in the fourth. Jayson Nix shot one right back where it came from for a leadoff single, and David Adams yanked a ground ball just past a diving Dustin Pedroia to put two runners on with no outs.
Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a forceout for the first out of the inning, but it left runners at the corners. Stewart cashed in with the sac fly.
Felix Doubront made sure that was all the Yankees got by striking out Brett Gardner. Gardner offered at a curveball down in the zone, and he foul tipped it into Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s mitt to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-0: Phil Hughes is now tasked with settling down after the Red Sox’ offensive explosion in the third inning. He did a pretty nice job in the fourth.
Hughes picked up two quick outs. Jose Iglesias grounded out to short and Jackie Bradley Jr. flied out to right field.
Daniel Nava ensured that the Red Sox didn’t go down in order by ripping a single into right field. Hughes kept Nava at first base by striking out Mike Carp.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: Robinson Cano connected on a one-out single, but Felix Doubront worked another scoreless inning in the third.
Doubront struck out both Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira in the inning. Youkilis went down looking at a curveball, while Teixeira froze on a fastball.
Vernon Wells grounded into a forceout to end the inning.
Doubront needed that quick inning, which required only 11 pitches. The left-hander threw 49 pitches through the first two innings. That’s 60 total pitches, for all you non-mathematicians.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: Mike Napoli has been one heck of a run producer this season.
Napoli drove a grand slam over the right-center field fence in the third inning, and the Red Sox have jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
Jackie Bradley Jr. got the big inning started with a double over Brett Gardner’s head in center field. He advanced to third base when Daniel Nava singled into left field.
Boston’s first run of the game came when Mike Carp dropped a fly ball down the left-field line. Vernon Wells gave chase and went into a slide, but the ball dropped just out of his reach. It almost hooked foul, but it landed just inside the line — perhaps even kicking up some chalk.
Phil Hughes bounced back to strike out Dustin Pedroia, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi then decided to walk David Ortiz with first base open. That set up a potential inning-ending double play and brought up Napoli with the bases juiced.
Hughes got ahead of Napoli, but the Red Sox slugger hung tough and eventually went the other way with a fastball on the outside corner.
End 2nd, 0-0: The tightrope walk is on.
Felix Doubront struggled with his control in the second inning, but, like we’ve seen plenty of times before, he escaped the inning unscathed.
Jayson Nix walked to lead off the inning, but Doubront wiped him off the bases by inducing a 4-6-3 double play.
At that point, it looked like Doubront was in line for an easy inning. But Ichiro Suzuki capped off a six-pitch at-bat with a two-out single, and Chris Stewart walked on four pitches to spark a mini rally.
Doubront got ahead of Brett Gardner, and ultimately retired him when Gardner hit a little dribbler in front of the plate. Jarrod Saltalamacchia ran out from behind the dish to make the play.
Doubront has already thrown 49 pitches through two innings.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Mike Napoli kickstarted the offense with a leadoff single, but nothing came of it.
Napoli dropped a base hit right in front of Brett Gardner in right-center field. Gardner dove in an effort to make the play, but he came up just short and trapped it.
Napoli took second base when catcher Chris Stewart got crossed up on a curveball from Phil Hughes. Stewart was expecting a high fastball, but Hughes’ offering dipped near the plate and ended up rolling to the backstop.
The miscommunication put Napoli into scoring position, but it didn’t cost the Yankees. Stephen Drew popped out softly to third baseman David Adams, Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out to right field and Jose Iglesias struck out swinging.
After watching the replay of Salty’s fly out, which traveled to about the middle of right field, it was clear that he just missed capitalizing on a hanging breaking ball.
End 1st, 0-0: Mark Teixeira got his first hit since returning, and the Yankees put two runners on base. Felix Doubront picked up a big strikeout to end the inning, though, and we’re scoreless after one inning in the Bronx.
Brett Gardner led off by pulling a ground ball over to second base. Kevin Youkilis then walked on five pitches as the Yankees tried to get something going against Doubront.
Robinson Cano got ahead in the count 3-0, which probably had some Red Sox fans yelling at the TV, but Doubront bounced back. The lefty delivered a strike on the inner half of the plate, and then got Cano to lift a harmless fly ball to right field.
Teixeira singled through the left side to put runners at first and second, but Doubront struck out Vernon Wells looking to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Phil Hughes issued a one-out walk to Mike Carp, who is batting out of the No. 2 hole for the first time this season. But he went on to finish the inning strong.
Daniel Nava, who is batting leadoff for the second straight night in Jacoby Ellsbury’s absence, put together a good at-bat to begin the ballgame. Hughes fell behind 3-0, and Nava saw six pitches before rolling over a fastball for a game-starting groundout.
Nava saw eight pitches in his first at-bat on Friday. Those are the types of things you like to see out of a fill-in leadoff hitter.
Carp then walked on four pitches, further raising questions about Hughes’ control early on, but the right-hander bounced back to retire Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
Pedroia flied out to center field, and Ortiz struck out looking after taking two pitches and fouling off two other pitches to the left side. Ortiz didn’t agree with the final strike call, as the pitch looked low and away.
7:17 p.m.: Phil Hughes’ first pitch to Daniel Nava is a ball, and we’re underway.
7:02 p.m.: Jonny Gomes got his first start of the season in right field on Friday night. Mike Carp will play right field for just the second time in his career on Saturday. The science behind the move, of course, is that Daniel Nava is better equipped to handle Yankee Stadium’s spacious left field.
6:55 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia has started every game this season, meaning he’ll get his 57th start on Saturday. The last player to start each of the Red Sox’ first 57 games at second base was Marty Barrett. (Barrett started Boston’s first 66 games in 1988.)
6:22 p.m.: John Farrell had some interesting things to say about Jose Iglesias before Saturday’s game. Iglesias has been tearing apart big league pitching this season, which understandably has people wondering where he’ll stand when Will Middlebrooks returns from the disabled list.
“We haven’t ruled out that he would remain here in a utility role,” Farrell told reporters. “He’s been exposed more to third than he has been to second. Obviously, we’re more than comfortable with him at shortstop. At some point, if we’re to strongly and surely consider him for a utility role, then he’s got to get some exposure to second base. The one thing we’re cautious of is just the pivot on the double play. I don’t know how you can emulate that in early work or in simulated-type situations, but I think most importantly, we haven’t ruled out him being in a utility role.”
That’s big news. The Red Sox didn’t keep Iglesias as a utility player the last time he was up in the majors for a couple of reasons. First, as Farrell alluded to, Iglesias didn’t have much experience at positions beyond shortstop. And second, utilityman Pedro Ciriaco is out of options, and the club really wanted to hang onto him.
Now, this isn’t to say that Ciriaco’s days in Boston are over. But there needs to be a roster casualty if Iglesias stays up when Middlebrooks returns, and it could end up being Ciriaco, who has had a difficult season.
4:18 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury will be out of the Red Sox’ lineup for the second straight night.
Ellsbury was a late scratch from the lineup on Friday because of a left groin strain, and it appears he’s still feeling some tightness. That means Jackie Bradley Jr. will once again get the start in center field, while Daniel Nava, playing left field, will bat leadoff.
Mike Carp is also penciled into John Farrell’s lineup card with a right-hander on the hill. He’ll play right field and bat second.
The rest of Saturday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (33-23)
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Carp, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Felix Doubront, LHP (3-2, 5.29 ERA)
Brett Gardner, CF
Kevin Youkilis, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Vernon Wells, LF
Jayson Nix, SS
David Adams, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chris Stewart, C
Phil Hughes (2-3, 4.97 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Round 1 went to the Yankees. But the fight has just begun.
The Red Sox and Yankees will go toe-to-toe at Yankee Stadium again on Saturday night. The Sox will be looking to bounce back after dropping a 4-1 decision to CC Sabathia and the Yanks on Friday.
Sabathia, who has struggled at times this season, looked like the ace he’s been for much of his career. He pitched into the eighth inning and limited the Boston offense to one run, while Jon Lester struggled with his command en route to his second loss of the season. Felix Doubront and Phil Hughes will be matched up against each other on Saturday, and it’s been an interesting season for both hurlers.
Doubront’s struggles in Boston have been well-documented. He has labored through a number of starts because of lengthy at-bats and high walk totals, but he has shown improvement in his last two outings. He gave up two earned runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking two in his last start against the Indians on Sunday.
Hughes has struggled as well, but he also enters Saturday’s game on the heels of a couple of good outings. Hughes got rocked while lasting less than an inning against the Mariners on May 15, but he surrendered just two runs in six innings against the Orioles on May 21 and one run over seven innings against the Mets on Monday.
The Red Sox enter Saturday’s game with a one-game lead in the American League East, so hold on tight. It should be a fun one.
Saturday’s action is scheduled to kick off at 7:15 p.m. Be sure to keep it right here throughout the day for all sorts of updates and what not.