Red Sox-Yankees Live: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonny Gomes Smack Home Runs As Sox Win Series Opener 4-2

Felix DoubrontFinal, Red Sox 4-2: That’ll do it. Koji Uehara tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and the Red Sox have their first win of the second half.

Uehara struck out Lyle Overbay for the first out of the ninth inning, and Dustin Pedroia then flashed some nifty glove work to finish off the game.

The Red Sox jumped out to an early lead in the first contest of the second half. Jacoby Ellsbury drove the second pitch he saw over the Yankees’ bullpen to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The Red Sox then added to the edge when Jonny Gomes launched his seventh home run of the season in the second inning. Jose Iglesias knocked in the team’s fourth run with an RBI single in the seventh.

The Yankees pushed across a pair of runs in the middle innings, but Felix Doubront was solid throughout his outing. He surrendered just one earned run on three hits while striking out five and walking three in 6 1/3 innings of work. Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow and Uehara combined to cap off the victory.

The Red Sox and Yankees will be in action at Fenway again Saturday. John Lackey will go up against Hiroki Kuroda, and the first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET.

Good night, everyone.

End 8th, Red Sox 4-2: The Red Sox had their fifth run 90 feet away, but they couldn’t drive it in. Koji Uehara will enter the game with a two-run lead.

Dustin Pedroia led off with a ground ball right down the third base line. Luis Cruz fielded it on the back hand and fired to first, where Lyle Overbay made an excellent pick on a throw in the dirt.

David Ortiz then hammered a one-out double off the base of the center field wall. It was Ortiz’s second double of the contest.

Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes couldn’t knock Ortiz in, though. Napoli flied out near Pesky’s Pole in right field, which allowed Ortiz to tag up and take third base, and Gomes hit a little popup to second base that Robinson Cano handled.

It’s now Koji time at Fenway.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-2: Craig Breslow got into some trouble, but the Yankees couldn’t cash in.

Ichiro Suzuki singled over Jose Iglesias’ head with one out in the eighth inning. Iglesias went into a leap, but he didn’t have enough ups to come down with the liner.

Robinson Cano really increased the threat by sending a ball into right-center field. Ichiro went from first to third while Cano cruised into second with a double. Cano seemed to be running pretty well, so there doesn’t seem to be any ill effects of him getting hit in the leg with a pitch during Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Breslow buckled down after Cano’s double. Vernon Wells popped out, and Luis Cruz then hit a ground ball to the left side. Iglesias made the play and fired to first base. The throw brought Mike Napoli off the bag, but Napoli slapped a tag on Cruz to end the inning.

End 7th, Red Sox 4-2: Boone Logan walked Jacoby Ellsbury to begin his outing, but he escaped the jam with the score still 4-2.

Daniel Nava grounded to third base with runners at first and second. Luis Cruz made the play and stepped on the bag to record the third and final out.

Craig Breslow will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.

9:40 p.m., Red Sox 4-2: The Yankees are making another pitching change, and it comes on the heels of an RBI single by Jose Iglesias.

The run is charged to Andy Pettitte, who exited with one out after giving up a leadoff, ground-rule double to Jonny Gomes.

Boone Logan will replace Shawn Kelley.

9:30 p.m., Red Sox 3-2: Andy Pettitte exits with one out in the seventh inning. Shawn Kelley is the new Yankees pitcher.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-2: Junichi Tazawa walked the first batter he faced upon entering, but that was all he surrendered.

Eduardo Nunez popped out and Chris Stewart flied out to right field to end the inning after Brent Lillibridge’s walk.

Also, we have some news regarding Yankees rookie outfielder Zoilo Almonte, who was replaced by Alberto Gonzalez before the bottom of the fifth inning. Almonte exited with a left ankle sprain, and X-rays were negative, the team announced.

9:17 p.m., Red Sox 3-2: Felix Doubront retired Lyle Overbay to begin the seventh inning, and John Farrell is now making a pitching change. Junichi Tazawa enters the game for Boston.

9:15 p.m., Red Sox 3-2: Shane Victorino left the game before the start of the fourth inning. We’ve now received word that his departure was due to left hamstring tightness.

End 6th, Red Sox 3-2: Dustin Pedroia singled with one out, but Andy Pettitte extinguished any potential threat.

David Ortiz followed up Pedroia’s single with a ground ball to second. Robinson Cano made the play and tossed to Eduardo Nunez to retire the lead runner, but the ball wasn’t hit hard enough for the Yankees to turn a double play.

Mike Napoli ended the inning by grounding to Nunez, who flipped over to Cano at second base to record the out.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-2: The Yankees got to Felix Doubront for a run in the fourth inning and another in the fifth inning, but they couldn’t muster up anything in the sixth.

Doubront got two quick outs, retiring Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano on a pair of flyouts to right field.

Vernon Wells looked to get something going with a base hit, but Luis Cruz, who entered the game for Brett Gardner, popped out to Jarrod Saltalamacchia along the first base line to end the inning.

End 5th, Red Sox 3-2: Andy Pettitte has settled down after a rocky start.

Pettitte tossed a 1-2-3 fifth inning, keeping Boston off the scoreboard for the third straight frame.

Brandon Snyder lined out to third base, Jose Iglesias grounded to the left side of the mound and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to first base.

With Gardner ejected, the Yankees made some defensive changes. Luis Cruz entered the game at third base. Ichiro Suzuki shifted from right field to center field. Brent Lillibridge went from third base to right field.

Alberto Gonzalez also replaced Zoilo Almonte before the inning. It’s unclear why the change occurred, but nevertheless, Gonzalez will now bat fifth for New York.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-2: The Yankees finally got their first hit in the fifth inning. They also cut the deficit in half.

Lyle Overbay led off with a double off the wall in left-center field. The Yankees got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, but it followed a walk and some interesting plays on the bases. Overbay’s double was New York’s first hit.

Felix Doubront almost pitched his way out of trouble. He struck out Brent Lillibridge swinging and got Eduardo Nunez to ground down to third base.

Christ Stewart didn’t let Doubront off the hook, though. Stewart lined a two-out double into the left-center-field gap that scored Overbay.

To Doubront’s credit, he made sure he at least escaped the inning with the lead still intact. The lefty struck out Brett Gardner, who was ejected after slamming his helmet to the ground with both hands. Gardner clearly wasn’t happy with home plate umpire Mike Everitt’s strike call, and emotions got the best of him.

End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: You could tell that Zoilo Almonte hasn’t played left field at Fenway Park before.

David Ortiz began the bottom of the fourth inning with a fly ball that hit near the base of the Green Monster. Almonte might have been able to catch it if he continued to race back, but he instead opted to play the carom. Ortiz ended up at second base with a leadoff double.

The Red Sox spoiled Ortiz’s two-bagger, though. Andy Pettitte retired the next three hitters to keep the score the same.

Mike Napoli struck out swinging and Jonny Gomes went down looking before Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a little popup that Pettitte flagged down along the third base line.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1:  Felix Doubront put Brett Gardner on to begin the fourth inning, and it cost him.

Gardner, who has tremendous speed, caused a ton of havoc on the bases after his leadoff walk. It started when Doubront tried to pick him off and Gardner kept on running to second base and dived in safely. Gardner then took off for third base with Robinson Cano batting, and Jarrod Satalamacchia’s throw ended up in left field, allowing Gardner to cross the plate with New York’s first run.

Cano ended up walking as well, but Doubront avoided any additional damage. The lefty struck out Vernon Wells swinging and got Zoilo Almonte to ground down to third base.

8:05 p.m., Red Sox 3-0: Shane Victorino has come out of this game. Daniel Nava took his spot in right field before the fourth inning.

It’s unclear why Victorino exited, but he has battled both hamstring and back issues this season, and he has looked really banged up of late.

End 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Andy Pettitte kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for the first time in the third inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury began the frame with a leadoff single into center field. Ellsbury, who homered in his first at-bat, is now 2-for-2.

Pettitte bounced back and induced a double play with Shane Victorino batting, though. Victorino grounded to Robinson Cano, who started the 4-6-3 double play.

Dustin Pedroia popped out to Lyle Overbay in foul territory next to the first base bag for the inning’s final out.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-0: Felix Doubront rolled through the third inning.

Doubront struck out Brent Lillibridge, who played in 10 games with Boston last season, to begin the third. He went to the fastball after back-to-back curveballs to pick up the strikeout.

Eduardo Nunez then popped out to Mike Napoli at first base, and Chris Stewart flied out into shallow right-center.

End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Two innings. Two home runs.

Jonny Gomes followed a leadoff walk by Mike Napoli with a two-run blast over the Green Monster. Gomes laid off a couple of cutters after falling behind in the count, 0-2, and he took advantage of a changeup over the plate.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia made the first out of the inning by striking out on a fastball on the outside corner. Salty put up a good eight-pitch at-bat before fanning on the 90-mph offering.

Brandon Snyder made solid contact with one down. He smoked a line drive, but it was hit right at shortstop Eduardo Nunez.

Jose Iglesias ended the inning by grounding out up the middle.

Gomes’ home run was his seventh of the season, and he absolutely smoked it over the Monster. He took aim at the Sports Authority sign, which has been beaten up on occasion this year. Check out BostonFanFavorites.com if you’re interested in learning more about the Monster’s advertising history.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Felix Doubront issued a leadoff walk, but a double-play ball got him back on track.

Vernon Wells earned the free pass to begin the inning. Doubront missed with a four-seam fastball with the count full.

Doubront then induced a big double play. Zoilo Almonte hit a grounder to Jose Iglesias, who flipped to Dustin Pedroia to spin the 6-4-3 twin killing.

Lyle Overbay, who was with the Red Sox during spring training, hit a bouncer to second base to end the inning.

End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Perhaps we’ll see a second-half power surge from Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury jumped on Andy Pettitte’s 1-0 pitch and launched his fourth home run of the season over the Yankees’ bullpen in right field to kick off the bottom of the first inning. Ellsbury’s bread and butter, of course, is his speed, but he’s beginning to show more pop of late.

Pettitte bounced back to retire the next three hitters he faced. Shane Victorino flied out to right field for the first out, and Dustin Pedroia was then retired on an absolute rocket to third base.

Pettitte finished the inning by striking out David Ortiz, who wasn’t pleased with home plate umpire Mike Everitt’s strike zone.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Felix Doubront’s turnaround this season has been a very underrated storyline surrounding the Red Sox.

Doubront has given up three earned runs or fewer in 11 straight starts since May 16, and he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 16 starts. He’s been a huge reason why the Red Sox have been able to continue thriving throughout Clay Buchholz’s absence and Jon Lester’s inconsistency.

Doubront’s night got off to a nice start, as he pitched a 1-2-3 first inning.

The first two hitters — Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki — grounded out against the southpaw. Gardner hit a slow grounder to third base, and Ichiro grounded to Jose Iglesias in the hole between third and short.

Doubront capped his perfect frame by striking out Robinson Cano.

7:15 p.m.: Felix Doubront’s first pitch is a strike, and the second half is underway.

6:56 p.m.: The Red Sox are about to kick off their second half, but what a ride this season has been thus far.

The Sox enter Friday’s series opener against the Yankees with a 2 1/2-game lead over the Rays in the AL East. They’ve been in first place or tied for first place for 87 days in 2013, which is the most among American League teams and second to only the Braves’ 104. The Red Sox’ 58 wins mark their most before the All-Star break in franchise history.

The Red Sox will face a huge test right out of the gate in the second half. Their first 10 games are against AL East opponents — three against the Yankees, four against the Rays and then three against the Orioles.

6:21 p.m.: The Red Sox were probably looking to add relief help prior to Andrew Bailey’s injury. Now, the need for another reliever is much greater.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters Friday that the club’s young pitchers will have an opportunity to contribute, but he also acknowledged that he’ll continue to work the phones before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in an effort to add to Boston’s bullpen.

The Red Sox made a couple of minor additions on Friday, signing pitchers Jose Contreras and Brandon Lyon to minor league contracts. Both Contreras and Lyon will join Triple-A Pawtucket.

Contreras was highly touted upon defecting from Cuba in 2002, but his career has been a rollercoaster ride. The 41-year-old enjoyed a couple of good seasons with the White Sox in 2005 and 2006, but he has also had plenty of rough patches. Contreras appeared in seven games with the Pirates this season. He surrendered five earned runs on seven hits in five innings of work.

Lyon, as you may recall, actually pitched for Boston in 2003. He appeared in 49 games that season and was traded twice. First, he was traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for Mike Gonzalez and Scott Sauerbeck. Then, he was traded back to Boston nine days later in the deal that netted the Red Sox pitcher Jeff Suppan. Lyon was involved in another trade after the season, as he got deal to Arizona in the deal that brought Curt Schilling to Boston.

Lyon appeared in 37 games with the Mets this season. The 33-year-old went 2-2 with a 4.98 ERA.

6:08 p.m.: The Red Sox haven’t played a game yet, but their second half is off to a rough start.

Andrew Bailey has been placed on the disabled list, and it’s sounding as if his season could be over. The right-hander has a capsule tear and labrum damage, and he said that surgery is definitely an option. Surgery, according to Bailey, is the only way to completely fix the issue, and he would likely be subject to a 12-month recovery process if he opts to go down that route — meaning he’d be out until the second half of the 2014 season.

Bailey suffered the shoulder injury while pitching in Oakland before the All-Star break. The right-hander said that the injury occurred while throwing a pitch to A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie, and he continued to pitch through it.

Bailey’s injury is the latest blow to a bullpen that’s already been depleted by injuries. Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Miller suffered season-ending injuries as well.

Jose De La Torre has been called up to take Bailey’s spot on the active roster.

5:45 p.m.: The first lineup cards of the second half have been posted. Take a look at them below.

Red Sox (58-39)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Brandon Snyder, 3B
Jose Iglesias, SS

Felix Doubront, LHP (6-3, 3.91 ERA)

Yankees (51-44)
Brett Gardner, CF
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Vernon Wells, DH
Zoilo Almonte, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Brent Lillibridge, 3B
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Chris Stewart, C

Andy Pettitte, LHP (7-6, 4.39 ERA)

12 p.m.: For baseball fans who have been suffering over the last four days, it’s finally time. Regular-season baseball starts back up Friday evening.

The Red Sox and Yankees will have to be on their toes immediately, as they face each other in the first game back from the break. While Boston (58-39) has had a firm edge in the American League East for much of the season, New York (51-44) has hung around when everyone thought the Yanks would be hard-pressed to produce wins. Anything can happen, and despite the Yankees’ rough times lately, they still trail the Sox by only six games.

The Yankees come into this one still short several of their main stars. While Alex Rodriguez is expected to finally return Monday, Derek Jeter is out again after just one game back. The Red Sox, however, sound like they could have shortstop Stephen Drew back as soon as Saturday. The Boston Globe reports that Drew will play in a rehab game Friday in Double-A Portland and will rejoin the Sox on Saturday after not playing since June 28 due to a hamstring strain.

On Friday night at Fenway Park, it’s going to be Andy Pettitte (7-6, 4.36 ERA) against Felix Doubront (6-3, 3.91). While Pettitte has struggled this season, he still has a history of frustrating the Red Sox. Doubront, meanwhile, has looked better and better as this season has progressed. His pitch counts are lower, he’s going longer into games, and he’s lifted a strong starting rotation even higher as the season gets older.

The fun starts at 5:30 with Friday Night Fenway Presented by Budweiser, with first pitch going at 7:10. Keep it here for everything you need to know leading up to the game and throughout the contest.

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