Final, Yankees 10-3: The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth inning before the Yankees finally put them out of their misery. New York takes the series opener 10-3.
The Yankees scored in each of the first four innings Friday while building a commanding lead. Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and Alfonso Soriano jacked a three-run bomb in the third inning.
That was more than enough, as the Red Sox struggled to muster up much offense. Andy Pettitte earned the win after going the first 6 2/3 innings. The veteran lefty gave up three runs — although none were earned — on six hits. He struck out five and walked one in what was a very efficient performance.
Felix Doubront was far less effective. He gave up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in four innings of work. He struck out four, walked two and never really settled in as the Yankees’ offense lit him up.
The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the hill Saturday, while the Red Sox will counter with John Lackey. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Yankees 10-3: The Yankees added three more runs for good measure. Now, they’ll turn to Joba Chamberlain with a seven-run cushion.
Drake Britton pitched the top of the ninth, and he ran into some trouble when Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez struck back-to-back singles with one out.
Britton bounced back to strike out Curtis Granderson, but Soriano and Rodriguez each moved up a station via a double steal.
Ichiro Suzuki, who can still run well at his old age, hit a high chopper back to Britton. It took forever to come down. By the time Britton fielded it and tossed to first base, Ichiro was aboard. Meanwhile, Soriano scored New York’s eighth run and Rodriguez advanced to third.
Mark Reynolds, who homered earlier in the game, plated A-Rod with an RBI single to left field. Chris Stewart added another insurance run with a single into right field that scored Ichiro from second base.
End 8th, Yankees 7-3: The Red Sox made some noise in the eighth inning. But it all went for nothing.
David Ortiz stepped up with runners at first and second and one out. He hammered a ball on the screws, but it was right at Alex Rodriguez, who snagged it and tossed to second base to complete a rally-killing double play.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the eighth, and Dustin Pedroia delivered a wall-ball single after Shane Victorino grounded into a forceout to set the stage for Ortiz’s double play.
Drake Britton will be the new Boston pitcher in the ninth inning.
Looking ahead, Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli will be due up for the Red Sox in the last of the ninth.
Mid 8th, Yankees 7-3: Dustin Pedroia made a rare error in the eighth inning. That’s when you know things aren’t going the Red Sox’ way.
Mark Reynolds and Chris Stewart flied out to right field and left field, respectively. Brett Gardner then reached on Pedroia’s miscue.
Pedroia really had to hurry on Gardner’s ground ball, as the Yankees’ leadoff man runs very well. It seems Pedroia thought about getting the ball to first base before corralling it, though, and he tripped while attempting to make the play.
Pedroia’s error didn’t cost the Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury made yet another nice defensive play to end the inning. Eduardo Nunez threatened to drop a hit into right-center field, but Ellsbury charged in and made the catch before sliding across the outfield grass.
Ellsbury will lead off the bottom of the eighth inning.
End 7th, Yankees 7-3: Mike Carp is a pretty mild-mannered guy. But he absolutely went off at the conclusion of the seventh inning.
Carp pinch-hit for Will Middlebrooks with two outs in the seventh, and he struck out looking. Carp responded by lashing out at home plate umpire Bill Welke, who quickly tossed the Red Sox slugger.
It really came down to Carp reaching a boiling point. He thought he reached when a ball hit near his foot, but the umpires determined that it didn’t hit him. Carp then had to get back into the box, at which point he struck out on a questionable call.
The Red Sox did plate two runs in the inning, though. The deficit is now four runs with two frames to go.
9:37 p.m., Yankees 7-3: The Red Sox are chipping away.
Dustin Pedroia began the seventh inning with a ground ball to short. Eduardo Nunez made the play, but his throw sailed way, way, way over the head of Mark Reynolds at first base. Pedroia advanced to second base.
David Ortiz drove in Pedroia with his 1,989th career hit. Ortiz hit a line drive that smacked off the top of the scoreboard located on the Green Monster. He tried to turn it into a double as Pedroia scored, but Alfonso Soriano threw him out at second base.
The Red Sox wasted no time going back to work. After Jonny Gomes grounded out to Alex Rodriguez for the second out, Stephen Drew doubled and Mike Napoli walked.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked in Boston’s third run of the game with a sharply hit single into center field. Salty may not have doubled this time around, but he has a double in five of his last six games and a career-high 32 doubles overall. Among Red Sox players whose primary positions were catcher, the team record for doubles in a season is 39 by Carlton Fisk (1978) and Jason Varitek (1999).
The Yankees are now turning to the bullpen. Shawn Kelley is replacing Andy Pettitte with runners at first and second and two outs.
Mid 7th, Yankees 7-1: The Yankees picked off a runner in the fourth inning. The Red Sox returned the favor in the seventh.
Franklin Morales caught Alfonso Soriano leaning upon taking over for Rubby De La Rosa. It’s the fifth pickoff of the season by a Red Sox pitcher — Craig Breslow, Felix Doubront, Jon Lester and Brandon Workman each have one.
Curtis Granderson quickly took Soriano’s place at first base. He worked a two-out walk.
Morales ended the inning by getting Ichiro Suzuki to ground to second base.
9:16 p.m., Yankees 7-1: John Farrell said he wanted to get Franklin Morales into a low-leverage situation to start out. This seems pretty low leverage.
Morales is entering the game with a runner on first and one out. Rubby De La Rosa plunked Alfonso Soriano to begin the inning. Alex Rodriguez, who will be booed for the rest of eternity, then flied out to center field.
Morales will first face Curtis Granderson, who is pinch-hitting for Vernon Wells.
End 6th, Yankees 7-1: Andy Pettitte has been very efficient.
Will Middlebrooks, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino went down 1-2-3 in the sixth, and the Yankees’ lead looks even more commanding with each passing inning.
Middlebrooks grounded out, Ellsbury struck out and Victorino popped out in the sixth.
Pettitte has only needed 80 pitches so far.
Mid 6th, Yankees 7-1: The Yankees were in a good position to add to their lead. But a double play changed the inning’s course.
Chris Stewart hit a little roller up along the first base line. Rubby De La Rosa stormed off the mound to play it, but his throw wasn’t even close. It sailed up the right field line, and Stewart cruised into second base.
Brett Gardner then singled into center field. Stewart was held at third base, and he never ended up crossing the plate.
Eduardo Nunez hit a ground ball to second base. Dustin Pedroia tagged Gardner and fired to first to complete the double play while Stewart stayed at third.
Robinson Cano shattered his bat while popping out to Pedroia in shallow right field to end the inning.
End 5th, Yankees 7-1: While the Yankees’ offense has been doing damage, Andy Pettitte has been rolling along.
Pettitte has twirled five solid innings thus far. He retired the side in order in the fifth.
Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out, giving Pettitte four K’s for the game. Pettitte has thrown 65 pitches (42 strikes) through his five frames.
Mid 5th, Yankees 7-1: The Yankees scored at least one run in each of the first four innings. Rubby De La Rosa helped cool their offensive momentum in the fifth.
De La Rosa tossed a scoreless frame upon taking over for Felix Doubront, who was touched up in his four innings of work.
De La Rosa walked Alex Rodriguez to begin the fifth, but he bounced back to retire three straight hitters.
Vernon Wells and Mark Reynolds each flied out. Mixed in between was a strikeout of Ichiro Suzuki.
The book is closed on Doubront. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, including two home runs, in his four innings. He struck out four and walked two.
End 4th, Yankees 7-1: Red Sox fans finally had something to cheer about in the fourth inning.
Dustin Pedroia ripped a hard-hit grounder down the third base line with one out. Alex Rodriguez lunged to make a backhanded play, but it kicked off him and rolled toward the wall in foul territory. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez rushed over as Pedroia took a hard turn around first base. Nunez struggled to get a grasp on the baseball, and Pedroia headed to second.
Jonny Gomes knocked in Pedroia for Boston’s first run. He singled into center field with two outs after David Ortiz struck out on a pitch down and out of the strike zone.
Gomes was picked off at first base to end the inning. It was a terrible call, though, as it didn’t appear that Mark Reynolds’ glove ever touched Gomes.
Rubby De La Rosa will take over for Boston after four brutal innings by Felix Doubront. De La Rosa’s first opponent will be Alex Rodriguez.
Mid 4th, Yankees 7-0: Felix Doubront almost had a quick, scoreless inning. Instead, the Yankees tacked on one more run.
Chris Stewart grounded out and Brett Gardner struck out to begin the fourth. Then, Jacoby Ellsbury came up just short while trying to make a highlight reel grab.
Eduardo Nunez drilled a ball toward deep center field. Ellsbury raced back, leaped into the air and crashed into the wall. For a second, it looked like Ellsbury made the catch, which drew a loud ovation. It soon became clear, however, that the ball landed just beyond Ellsbury’s reach, and Nunez scampered into third base with a triple.
Robinson Cano knocked in Nunez with a single into right field.
Doubront did strike out Alfronso Soriano to end the inning, though. So that’s a plus, I guess.
End 3rd, Yankees 6-0: Robinson Cano looked disinterested in the field at times when the Yankees were last in Boston. He appears to be his usual self this time around.
Cano made a nice stop in the second inning, and he made a fantastic over-the-shoulder play on a popup in the third inning.
Mike Napoli lifted a popup into center field, and Cano ranged a long way to make the grab. I’m reluctant to call it shallow center because of how far Cano actually went out to make the play.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled into center field with two outs, but it didn’t lead to anything further. Shane Victorino grounded out to first base.
Mid 3rd, Yankees 6-0: The boos for Alex Rodriguez weren’t nearly as emphatic this time around. Alfonso Soriano’s home run that preceded A-Rod’s at-bat might have something to do with it.
Soriano has been destroying the baseball of late. He entered the contest 10-for-14 with 14 RBIs over his last three games — no, that’s not a misprint. Soriano added to his impressive totals with a three-run shot off Felix Doubront in the third inning.
Eduardo Nunez started the inning with a soft ground ball up the middle that ended with an infield single, and Robinson Cano reached when Stephen Drew couldn’t handle a ground ball to short. Soriano then got a pitch down, and he lifted it toward the Advil sign atop the Green Monster.
Alex Rodriguez stepped in after Soriano’s homer, and he was booed extensively. The crowd even started chanting, “You did steroids.” Rodriguez responded with a single into right field.
Vernon Wells struck out swinging and Ichiro Suzuki grounded out to second. In the process, Rodriguez made his way over to third base, as Doubront also tossed a wild pitch with Wells batting.
Doubront ended the inning and stranded A-Rod at third by striking out Mark Reynolds. The damage was certainly done, though.
End 2nd, Yankees 3-0: Andy Pettitte rolled through the second inning — just like he did the first inning.
David Ortiz began the second by flying out to left field. Jonny Gomes then popped out to second base, and Stephen Drew grounded out.
Drew actually made a bid to reach with two down. But Robinson Cano made an excellent stop while getting dirty record the inning’s final out.
Mid 2nd, Yankees 3-0: What a pickup for the Yankees.
Mark Reynolds just bashed a two-run homer in his first at-bat for New York, scoring Vernon Wells and giving the visitors a three-run cushion early.
Felix Doubront got Brett Gardner to ground out on a close play at first to end the inning. Ichiro Suzuki and Chris Stewart were both retired on fly balls.
Quick note on Reynolds’ home run: Reynolds is the 14th Yankees player since 1961 to homer in his first plate appearance with the club.
End 1st, Yankees 1-0: Andy Pettitte needed just 13 pitches to take care of the Red Sox in that frame. He got Jacoby Ellsbury on a groundout, Shane Victorino on a flyout and Dustin Pedroia on a strikeout.
Mid 1st, Yankees 1-0: As you’d expect, Alex Rodriguez was showered in boos in his first at-bat. He then hit into a double play.
But while that got the Fenway Faithful cheering, the first inning’s other developments weren’t quite as pleasing.
Brett Gardner, who was ejected from a game at Fenway earlier this season, led off the game with a single. He moved up to second base when Eduardo Nunez dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
Gardner then showed off his wheels and took third base. It was his 21st steal of the season.
Felix Doubront walked Robinson Cano before Alfonso Soriano ripped a sharp ground ball to the left side. Stephen Drew made a diving stop, but he struggled while transitioning the ball to his throwing hand. Gardner scored from third base.
That’s when A-Rod stepped in to a chorus of boos. The slugger ended up drilling a line drive right at Will Middlebrooks, who then tossed to second base to double-up Cano, who had moved up on Soriano’s infield single.
7:12 p.m.: We’re off and running at Fenway.
7:06 p.m.: Let’s toss the A-Rod stuff aside for a minute and focus on some Red Sox stuff.
John Farrell said before the game that he hasn’t gone to Franklin Morales since the left-hander returned because the situation hasn’t called for it. Farrell said that he wants to use Morales in lower-leverage situations out of the gate.
Farrell also discussed Mike Napoli’s struggles, and he remains adamant that the Red Sox will continue living with the type of player he is. Napoli is very streaky, and Farrell noted that he’s capable of carrying an offense when he gets locked in.
Right now, however, it’s a matter of getting Napoli locked in. In the meantime, he’ll hit seventh after batting fifth for much of the season. When asked if Will Middlebrooks could eventually bat fifth if he continues to make strides, Farrell didn’t rule out the possibility.
6:49 p.m.: I hate to beat a dead horse with all of this A-Rod stuff. Believe me, I’m as sick of it as you guys. We’ve got a few interesting pregame tidbits, though, so I might as well pass them along.
Rodriguez denied the allegations made against him, and he said that being a punching bag “gets old.”
Rodriguez also said he plans to talk to a few members of the Red Sox — and fellow MLB players union members — to discuss the entire situation.
6:40 p.m.: The story going into this game is obviously Alex Rodriguez.
A-Rod hasn’t played at Fenway Park since being handed his historic 211-game suspension, so it’ll be very interesting to see how the Boston crowd reacts when he strides to the plate for his first at-bat.
Red Sox manager John Farrell already touched on the A-Rod situation Thursday, but he was once again asked about the topic before Friday’s game.
“I think we’re all certainly well aware of the situation he’s in and clearly is within his rights to appeal and that’s really I’ve got to say about it,” Farrell said. “He’s taking advantage of the process that is clearly his right and we’ll see how that all plays out.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters that the whole A-Rod debacle hasn’t been a distraction to his club.
“It hasn’t [been a distraction],” Girardi told reporters Friday. “If it was, it would be something that I would have to handle and probably wouldn’t mention it to anyone in here. But it hasn’t.”
A-Rod, of course, is in the process of appealing his suspension, which stems from his connection to the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a number of major leaguers.
5:45 p.m.: As a fellow reporter astutely pointed out, fans outside of Fenway Park were selling Alex Rodriguez-themed shirts before Friday’s game. They alluded to A-Rod batting fourth, but pleading the fifth.
Well, those shirts are inaccurate for at least one night. Rodriguez will bat fifth Friday, while Alfonso Soriano will hit cleanup for the Yankees.
For the Red Sox, Mike Napoli, who was out of the lineup Thursday, will be back in the seven spot. Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew will once again bat ahead of him in the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, respectively.
Check out Friday’s complete lineups below.
Red Sox (72-51)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Felix Doubront, LHP (8-5, 3.66 ERA)
Brett Gardner, CF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Vernon Wells, DH
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Chris Stewart, C
Andy Pettitte, LHP (7-9, 4.62 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Alex Rodriguez has been booed mercilessly by the Fenway Faithful since joining the Yankees in 2004. But Friday should be very interesting.
Rodriguez arrives in Boston for the first time since being handed a 211-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. A-Rod, of course, is appealing the suspension, which only adds to the hatred that many baseball fans — not just Red Sox fans — have toward him.
Rodriguez is sure to be showered with boos Friday. The Red Sox can’t afford to focus too much on Rodriguez’s presence, though. They must instead focus on the task at hand, as they ended their season-long 11-day road trip with back-to-back losses in Toronto.
The Red Sox’ offense squandered a number of scoring chances in Thursday’s series finale against the Blue Jays, and it was actually a continuation of something that started in the later innings of Wednesday’s game. Boston will need to be more opportunistic in order to take down the Bronx Bombers during their three-game weekend set.
Felix Doubront will go up against Andy Pettitte in a battle of southpaws Friday. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.