Red Sox-Yankees Live: Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees Set Up Rubber Match With 5-2 Victory Over Sox

John LackeyFinal, Yankees 5-2: Mariano Rivera slammed the door on this game.

Rivera gave up a one-out single in the ninth inning, but he otherwise had no problem nailing down a 5-2 Yankees victory.

John Lackey suffered the loss, while Hiroki Kuroda picked up the win. The pitching matchup was as advertised for the most part, although Kuroda was much more in control throughout. Lackey minimized the damage a number of times, but he surrendered four runs on 10 hits in the defeat.

The Red Sox were very sloppy on the bases Saturday, running into three outs, including two at the plate. That just goes to show how tough it is to be aggressive without being overaggressive.

The Red Sox and Yankees will finish their three-game set with a Sunday night showdown. Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m., and Ryan Dempster will go up against CC Sabathia.

Good night, everyone.

Mid 9th, Yankees 5-2: The ninth inning could have been much worse. The Red Sox still have their work cut out for them, though, as Mariano Rivera will enter with a three-run lead.

After Drake Britton entered, Luis Cruz was credited for a steal of third base. Jarrod Saltalamacchia fired down to second base to try and pick off Cruz, who ventured far off the bag. Cruz ultimately decided to take off for third base, though, and he dived in safely to put runners at the corners.

Ichiro Suzuki popped out for the first out, and Robinson Cano then smoked a sacrifice fly to center field.

Brett Gardner was caught stealing to end the inning. Stephen Drew made a nice sliding stop before slapping a tag on Gardner at second base.

David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes are due up against Rivera in the bottom of the ninth.

7:21 p.m., Yankees 4-2: Drake Britton will make his major league debut, and he’ll be thrown right into the fire.

Pedro Beato began the ninth inning and plunked Luis Cruz. Dustin Pedroia then made a rare error at second base.

Britton enters with runners at first and second with no outs.

End 8th, Yankees 4-2: We just witnessed one of the stranger double plays you’ll see.

Daniel Nava singled with one out in the eighth inning. He got a little too aggressive on the bases, though.

Dustin Pedroia hit a popup behind home plate. It looked to be headed for the seats, but Chris Stewart ditched his mask, raced back and made a fantastic grab while leaning into the stands. Nava tried to tag up and take second base, as Stewart nearly fell into the stands, but the Yankees catcher turned around and fired a strike to gun down Nava.

It was a costly mistake by Nava, and it was really an unnecessary risk in a two-run game. David Ortiz would have come up with an opportunity to tie the game with one swing of the bat had Nava just stayed put.

It’s been a horrendous day on the bases for the Red Sox, as they’ve also had two runners thrown out at home.

Mid 8th, Yankees 4-2: Matt Thornton and Pedro Beato kept the score the same in the eighth inning.

Thornton, who relieved John Lackey in the seventh inning and allowed his two inherited runners to score, recorded the first out of the eighth. Travis Hafner grounded out to second base.

John Farrell then called upon Beato, who retired both Eduardo Nunez and Chris Stewart.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia are due up for Boston in the eighth inning.

End 7th, Yankees 4-2: The Red Sox are on the scoreboard, and their deficit has been sliced in half.

David Ortiz singled into center field to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, and Mike Carp followed up with a double into the left-center field gap. Carp should have been out at second base, but Robinson Cano was rather nonchalant while receiving Brett Gardner’s throw. Cano looked stunned when he turned around and saw that Carp was sliding in at second, and he lost the ball while attempting to slap down a tag.

Carp’s double put runners at second and third for Jonny Gomes, who has had some big hits for Boston this season. Gomes couldn’t come up with one this time, but his sacrifice fly put the Red Sox in the runs column for this first time. Gardner had a chance to throw out Ortiz at home, but his throw was cut off, so we’ll never really know if he would have gunned down Big Papi.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out for the second out of the inning, during which Carp took third base. Carp, who was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch earlier in the game, successfully accomplished the feat in the seventh inning. Hiroki Kuroda’s pitch with Stephen Drew batting bounced in the dirt and up over Chris Stewart’s head, and Carp scored easily with Boston’s second run.

The Red Sox still trail by two runs after seven innings, but that’s hardly an insurmountable deficit. The Sox will send up the top of the order in the eighth inning of what they hope is still a two-run game.

Mid 7th, Yankees 4-0: The Yankees hit the ball hard against Matt Thornton, and both inherited runners crossed the plate.

Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a forceout that left runners at the corners with two outs, and Robinson Cano and Lyle Overbay then did some damage.

Cano singled into left-center field to drive in New York’s third run, and Overbay singled into the gap to knock in the Yankees’ fourth run.

Both runs were charged to John Lackey, who surrendered four runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Lackey struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 97 pitches (64 strikes).

6:30 p.m., Yankees 2-0: John Lackey’s day is done with one out in the seventh inning.

Eduardo Nunez led off the seventh with a double into the left-center field gap. Nunez moved up to third base when Chris Stewart grounded to the right side, and he scored when Luis Cruz singled into center.

Brett Gardner followed up Cruz’s RBI single with a base knock of his own, and the Red Sox will now turn to Matt Thornton with runners at first and second with one out.

End 6th, Yankees 1-0: The Red Sox keep knocking on the door. The Yankees just won’t let them in, although Robinson Cano almost gave Boston a gift in the sixth inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground ball up the middle with one out, and Cano couldn’t handle it. The error would have been big regardless of who was hitting, but you simply can’t afford to put Ellsbury on base like that.

Ellsbury did as Ellsbury does. He moved up to second base on a pitch in the dirt, and he tagged up and advanced to third base when Daniel Nava flied out to left-center field.

Dustin Pedroia came up with Ellsbury on third and two outs, and he had a chance to make the inning come full circle. It would have been fitting if he could have tied the game just minutes after his New York counterpart’s defensive miscue.

Pedroia couldn’t cash in, though. He grounded down to third base to end the inning.

Mid 6th, Yankees 1-0: John Lackey’s seventh punchout was a big one.

Lyle Overbay followed Robinson Cano’s flyout to center with a double into the right field corner. It was Overbay’s second double, and it put Lackey into a bind with one out.

Lackey responded by striking out both Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner. Wells laid off a changeup in the dirt, but then went down swinging on a fastball. Hafner, who jumped ahead in the count, 3-0, struck out looking at a fastball down in the zone.

Lackey has given up seven hits but still just the one run. Boston’s run support isn’t there, though, and that’s been the case a number of times with Lackey on the mound this season.

End 5th, Yankees 1-0: The Red Sox have now had two baserunners thrown out at the plate.

The Red Sox threatened immediately in the fifth inning, as Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes delivered back-to-back singles to set up runners at first and second with no outs.

Hiroki Kuroda settled things down a bit by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but the Red Sox had two runners in scoring position after Stephen Drew grounded out to first base. Lyle Overbay actually bobbled Drew’s grounder, but he recovered just in time to record the second out.

The Red Sox’ aggressiveness then cost them. With Jose Iglesias batting, a pitch got away from catcher Chris Stewart. Carp attempted to score from third, but Stewart ran back, retrieved the ball and tossed to Kuroda, who was covering home, in time to nail Carp.

Daniel Nava was thrown out at the plate back in the first inning following a single from David Ortiz.

Mid 5th, Yankees 1-0: John Lackey looked poised to escape another inning unscathed, but the Yankees have struck first.

Eduardo Nunez started the fifth inning with a single into center field. Stephen Drew made a diving attempt, but it traveled past his outstretched glove and into left-center.

Nunez, trying to get something going, swiped second base with Chris Stewart batting. That prompted Stewart to subsequently drop down a sacrifice bunt that moved Nunez to third base with one down.

The Red Sox had a runner cut down at the plate in the first inning. It was the Yankees’ turn in the fifth. Luis Cruz hit a ground ball right at Drew, who was playing in on the grass. Nunez was off from third on contact, and Drew fired a strike to the plate to nail him by a step.

At that point, it looked as if Lackey would enjoy his fifth straight scoreless frame to begin the ballgame. A wild pitch caused some trouble, though.

Cruz took second on the wild pitch, and he scored when Brett Gardner lined a single into center. Dustin Pedroia laid out for Gardner’s liner, but he came up a few inches short.

End 4th, 0-0: There’s no score through four.

Hiroki Kuroda, who ran into some first-inning trouble, pitched his third straight 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.

Daniel Nava gave one a ride to begin the inning. He hit it to dead center, and it took Brett Gardner back to the warning track. Gardner made the catch before bumping up against the wall.

Dustin Pedroia grounded to third baseman Luis Cruz for the second out. Cruz’s throw was in the dirt, but Lyle Overbay made a nice pick over at first base.

David Ortiz hit a soft grounder down to Overbay to end the inning.

Mid 4th, 0-0: Lyle Overbay drilled a one-out double, but John Lackey once again showed an ability to bounce back.

Lackey struck out Robinson Cano to begin the fourth inning. Lackey mixed up his pitches well against Cano, and he ended up striking him out for the second time in this game.

Overbay then hammered a ball over Daniel Nava’s head in right field. Nava didn’t get a very good jump on it, and the ball sailed over his head and to the wall.

Lackey was forced to throw some high-stress pitches as a result of Overbay’s double, but he ultimately pitched his way through the trouble.

The right-hander struck out Vernon Wells on a pitch located low and away. Travis Hafner ended the inning by lifting a fly ball to right-center field that Jacoby Ellsbury tracked down.

End 3rd, 0-0: It’s still early, but the pitching matchup has been as advertised thus far.

Hiroki Kuroda tossed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the third, and he picked up two strikeouts along the way.

Kuroda fanned the left side of the Red Sox’ infield in the third. Stephen Drew struck out swinging on three pitches, showing that perhaps there’s some rust for him to shake off after missing 16 games with a hamstring injury. Then, Jose Iglesias went down hacking despite a very good 10-pitch battle.

Iglesias’ at-bat is the type of at-bat that could eventually help the Red Sox even though the end result wasn’t what he was looking for, as it really forced Kuroda to work.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a line drive to right field with two outs. Ichiro Suzuki ranged in and to his right to make an inning-ending sliding grab.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey got into some trouble in the second inning. His third inning of work was much smoother.

Luis Cruz began the inning by lifting a fly ball to left field. Jonny Gomes, who was shaded toward the line, needed to travel a long way, but he ultimately flagged it down to record the out.

Brett Gardner, who reached via an infield single back in the first inning, flied out to center this time for out No. 2.

Ichiro Suzuki hit a roller in front of the plate, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia ran out from behind the dish to make the play and chuck to first for the third out.

End 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox’ offense didn’t make a peep against Hiroki Kuroda in the second inning.

Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia went down in order.

Carp flied out to left field and Gomes grounded out to third base before Saltalamacchia struck out swinging to end the inning.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Yankees established a threat in the second inning. John Lackey avoided any damage on the scoreboard, though.

Two strikeouts sandwiched a one-out single by Vernon Wells. Lyle Overbay foul tipped a fastball into Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s mitt, and Travis Hafner fanned on a cutter.

Eduardo Nunez then gave New York runners at second and third by lining a double down the right field line. The ball appeared to drop right on the line, kicking up plenty of dirt in the process. Wells rounded third, but he was eventually stopped by Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson.

Chris Stewart failed to cash in with two runners in scoring position. He hit a chopper to short that Stephen Drew handled.

End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox have had some runners cut down at the plate this season, and it happened again in the first inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who drilled a leadoff home run Friday, made solid contact in his first at-bat. But his line drive hung up long enough for Brett Gardner to make a play in center field.

Hiroki Kuroda then hit Daniel Nava, who advanced to second base when Dustin Pedroia hit a little dribble in front of the mound. Nava was running on the pitch, and he easily moved up into scoring position as Kuroda hurried to throw out Pedroia at first.

David Ortiz nearly gave the Red Sox an early edge with a line-drive single into left field. Third base coach Brian Butterfield waved Nava home, but Nava stumbled a bit rounding third base. The stumble proved costly, as Nava was out by a mile despite a poor throw from Vernon Wells.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Stephen Drew’s return means that Jose Iglesias shifts back over to third base. So far, so good.

Brett Gardner, who was ejected from Friday’s game after slamming his helmet in anger over a strike three call, led off the game with an infield single. He actually dived head first into first base to beat Drew’s throw.

Gardner is always a threat to steal when he’s on the bases, and his speed helped the Yankees score their first run on Friday. He didn’t spend too much time on the basepaths this time around, though, as Iglesias turned a line drive off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki into a double play.

John Lackey finished his scoreless first inning by striking out Robinson Cano with a 95 mph fastball down in the strike zone.

4:26 p.m.: After a delay of 21 minutes, John Lackey fires a first-pitch ball. We’re underway at an overcast Fenway Park.

Total precipitation so far: none.

4:23 p.m.: We’ve got overcast conditions at Fenway, but there’s still no rain.

On another note, Luis Tiant just threw out the ceremonial first pitch. So that’s cool.

4:14 p.m.: It hasn’t started raining at Fenway yet. They did water the field, though, so that’s a head scratcher.

3:58 p.m.: We’re staring a delay right in the face at Fenway Park.

The start time has been pushed back to 4:25 p.m. due to the threat of rain. Stay tuned.

This Red Sox rain delay is presented by L.L. Bean.

3:16 p.m.: The Red Sox have officially announced that Stephen Drew has been activated from the disabled list and Brock Holt has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. We pretty much already knew that would be the case, but some confirmation never caused any trouble.

1:55 p.m.: Stephen Drew’s return highlights Saturday’s lineup card.

Drew will play his first game since June 28. He injured his hamstring in that contest while legging out a double, and he was subsequently placed on the 15-day DL. Drew will play short and bat eighth, while Jose Iglesias will shift back to third base and bat ninth.

Mike Carp will be in Saturday’s lineup as well. John Farrell said that he opted for Carp over Mike Napoli in order to get another left-handed bat in the lineup against Hiroki Kuroda.

Saturday’s complete lineups are below.

Red Sox (59-39)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B

John Lackey, RHP (7-6, 2.78 ERA)

Yankees (51-45)
Brett Gardner, CF
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Vernon Wells, LF
Travis Hafner, DH
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Chris Stewart, C
Luis Cruz, 3B

Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (8-6, 2.65 ERA)

1:35 p.m.: Shane Victorino, who exited Friday’s game with left hamstring tightness, will be out of Boston’s lineup Saturday.

The good news is that John Farrell expects Victorino to return for Sunday’s series finale. He said that Victorino has responded well to treatment, and that he arrived at the ballpark feeling much better.

It’s also sounding as if Brock Holt will be optioned to make room for Stephen Drew, although the team hasn’t made an official announcement yet. The Red Sox needed to make a decision on whether to option Holt or Brandon Snyder, and Farrell expressed a desire to have Snyder’s right-handed bat. Farrell insisted that Holt will have a role with this club moving forward, however.

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox are undefeated in the second half.

OK, so it’s been one game. But it doesn’t hurt to get off on the right foot, and the Red Sox did that Friday, taking down the Yankees, 4-2, in the first game of a three-game set at Fenway.

The Sox and Yanks are back at it Saturday, and we should be in store for a good pitching matchup. John Lackey will go up against Hiroki Kuroda in a battle of two pitchers who have been of the utmost importance to their clubs this season. Lackey enters with a 7-6 record and a 2.78 ERA, while Kuroda is 8-6 with a 2.65 ERA.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonny Gomes kicked off Boston’s series-opening victory with home runs in the first inning and second inning, respectively. The Red Sox would love to get off to a similar start in Saturday’s late-afternoon showdown.

Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. Be sure to follow the action with NESN.com’s live blog.

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