Final, Red Sox 6-1: Koji Uehara closed the door in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox stop their three-game skid with a 6-1 victory.
John Lackey turned in a solid outing for Boston. He went 6 2/3 innings and surrendered just one run on six hits to earn his first victory since July 12.
The Red Sox’ offense, meanwhile, broke out of its swoon to the tune of 14 hits. Hiroki Kuroda pitched the first 5 2/3 innings for New York, and he gave up five runs (three earned) on 11 hits.
With the victory, the Red Sox are still the only team in the majors that has not endured a losing streak of four games or more. It speaks to both the depth and resiliency of this team.
The Red Sox and Yankees will square off on the national stage Sunday night in their rubber match. Ryan Dempster and CC Sabathia are set to square off, with the game’s first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Dustin Pedroia gave everyone a scare in the eighth inning.
Pedroia fouled a ball off his foot, which caused the All-Star second baseman to hit the ground in pain. John Farrell and the Red Sox trainer then checked on Pedroia, but he stayed in the game to finish his at-bat.
Pedroia ended up striking out for the second time, and he’s now 0-for-5 on his 30th birthday. Brock Holt will take over at second base in the ninth inning, so hopefully, Pedroia’s injury isn’t anything serious and it’s simply a precautionary move.
The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Boone Logan escaped the jam by getting Mike Carp to ground into a forceout.
Koji Uehara will be the new Boston pitcher in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-1: Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa combined to shut down the Yankees in the eighth inning.
Breslow started the inning, and he retired Robinson Cano on a groundout to second base.
Tazawa then took over, and he took care of Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez. Soriano struck out swinging, and Rodriguez flied out to deep right field.
Tazawa’s first pitch to A-Rod actually sailed up and in on the slugger. It clearly wasn’t intentional, but it drew a big ovation from the hometown crowd.
6:54 p.m.: Want to predict what is going to happen next? The MLB PrePlay app allows you to predict every play of every game. By correctly selecting the outcome of every at-bat in real time, you’re able to earn points.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-1: David Ortiz took aim at the hitter’s backdrop in the seventh inning, and the Red Sox upped their lead.
Ortiz drilled a one-out home run to straightaway center field. It was his 24th blast of the season, and it came on a 3-2 changeup from Adam Warren.
The Red Sox threatened for more, as Mike Carp doubled into the left field corner and Daniel Nava walked on four pitches. But Warren bounced back to retire Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Craig Breslow will come back out to begin the eighth inning, although Junichi Tazawa has been warming up in the Boston bullpen.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-1: John Lackey’s day ended in the seventh inning. It was a job well done by the right-hander.
Lackey walked Eduardo Nunez to begin the seventh, but he quickly wiped him off the bases by inducing a 4-6-3 double play.
Lackey then hit Chris Stewart with a pitch, which prompted John Farrell to turn to Craig Breslow.
Vernon Wells, pinch-hitting for Brett Gardner, greeted Breslow with a little roller to the left side. Will Middlebrooks charged it, but he couldn’t make a barehanded play.
Breslow escaped any damage by getting Ichiro Suzuki to ground out to first base.
Lackey gave up one run on six hits in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He struck out one and walked three while throwing 103 pitches (65 strikes).
End 6th, Red Sox 5-1: Adam Warren retired Shane Victorino on a fly out to left field upon entering. The Red Sox’ lead is 5-1 after six innings.
The book is officially closed on Kuroda, and things definitely weren’t easy for the right-hander, who entered the game on quite the roll.
Kuroda gave up five runs (three earned) on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 107 pitches (70 strikes).
6:22 p.m., Red Sox 5-1: Boston’s lead is up to four runs, and the Yankees will turn to the bullpen.
Daniel Nava doubled over Alfonso Soriano’s head for the second time in this game. Soriano made a leaping attempt, but the ball slammed off the wall.
Nava advanced to third base when Stephen Drew grounded out, and he scored when Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled into left field.
Jacoby Ellsbury added a run with two outs when he nearly sent one into the Yankees’ bullpen. The ball hit off the wall, and Saltalamacchia scored from first base. A good throw probably would have had Saltalamacchia, but Robinson Cano’s toss got past catcher Chris Stewart.
Ellsbury took a wide turn around third before tossing on the brakes. He’s 90 feet away as Adam Warren relieves Hiroki Kuroda with two down.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-1: Dustin Pedroia is really flashing some leather.
Pedroia made a couple more nice plays in the sixth inning, with one against Alex Rodriguez stealing the show.
A-Rod, who initially fell behind in the count 0-2, smacked a 3-2 offering back up the middle. It looked destined for center field, but Pedroia made an excellent diving play. Pedey popped to his feet and delivered a strong throw to first, much to the delight of those who have been on A-Rod’s case all day.
Pedroia also recorded an assist on the inning’s final out. Curtis Granderson hit a sharp grounder that took a big hop into Pedroia’s glove.
End 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Hiroki Kuroda took care of business in the fifth inning.
Dustin Pedroia lined out to his counterpart, Robinson Cano, for the first out. Mike Carp grounded out to his counterpart, Lyle Overbay, for the third out.
In between, David Ortiz struck out swinging. Ortiz chased a pitch down in a 2-2 count, and he foul tipped it into the mitt.
It’s interesting to see both Carp and Overbay logging time at first base in this game. The two, of course, battled for a roster spot with the Red Sox during spring training.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Dustin Pedroia showed his range to both sides in the fifth inning, although the Yankees pushed across a run.
Lyle Overbay, whose error opened the door for the Red Sox in the fourth inning, singled to lead off the fifth.
Chris Stewart wasted no time building a threat. He ripped the first pitch he saw from John Lackey down the left field line past third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The ball bounced up into the seats for a ground-rule double, putting runners at second and third with no outs.
Lackey continued to field his position well for the first out. Brett Gardner hit a chopper back to the mound, and Lackey made the play, giving him five assists in this game.
Pedroia then made a nice, rangy play while going up the middle on an Ichiro Suzuki grounder. He fired to first to complete the out, but Overbay crossed with New York’s first run.
Robinso Cano yanked a pitch between first and second with two outs. Pedroia made a sliding stop before tossing to Mike Carp to record the third out and end the inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Hiroki Kuroda should have been out of a jam. Instead, an error helped the Red Sox strike first.
David Ortiz ripped a line drive to right field to lead off the fourth inning. The ball kicked up off the warning track dirt and into the seats for a ground-rule double.
Mike Carp, who was ejected from Friday’s game, followed with a single into right field. That put runners at first and third with no outs.
Kuroda settled things down a bit by striking out Daniel Nava, and he should have been out of the inning via a double play when Stephen Drew hit a ground ball to first base. But Lyle Overbay’s throw to second was off the mark, and both runners ended up being safe as Ortiz crossed the plate.
Carp and Drew each moved up a station on a double steal, although they received some help from third base umpire Bill Welke. Carp took off for third base with no one covering the bag. Alex Rodriguez quickly realized and ran over toward third base to field catcher Chris Stewart’s throw on the run. It appeared that A-Rod did, in fact, tag Carp in time, but Welke — who ejected Carp on Friday — ruled otherwise.
Will Middlebrooks knocked in Carp with a ground ball up the middle. Robinson Cano fielded it on the back hand in shallow center, but he had no play.
Jacoby Ellsbury tacked on one more run in the frame with a single into right field. One of the runs was earned, and the other two were unearned.
Mid 4th, 0-0: John Lackey is fielding his position well in this game.
Lackey charged off the mound to throw out Eduardo Nunez to end the inning, and the right-hander now has four assists through the first four innings.
Lackey did yield two hits in the frame, but he once again refused to crack.
Alfonso Soriano singled into right field, but he was subsequently thrown out while trying to steal second base.
After Alex Rodriguez struck out for the second out, Curtis Granderson dropped a single down the right field line. He successfully stole second base, but Lackey retired Nunez on the little dribbler.
Baserunners have had success running against Lackey of late, and it’s clear that the Yankees are looking to push the envelope whenever possible in this game.
End 3rd, 0-0: The Red Sox collected two more hits in the third inning. They still don’t have any runs to show for their effort.
Will Middlebrooks started the inning with a bloop single into right field. Robinson Cano ranged out onto the outfield grass, but the ball landed just beyond his reach.
Hiroki Kuroda rendered the bloop single moot by inducing a double play. It’s rare that you see Jacoby Ellsbury hit into a double play, but he hit a grounder right at Cano, who tagged Middlebrooks before tossing to first.
Shane Victorino reached via an infield single with two down. Eduardo Nunez made a backhanded play ranging into the hole, but even with a hamstring issue, Victorino was too fast for Nunez to throw him out.
Dustin Pedroia then grounded to Cano, who stepped on second base to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey followed up an eventful second inning with a 1-2-3 third.
Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki both grounded to the right side for the first two outs. Gardner grounded out to Mike Carp, while Ichiro rolled one over to Dustin Pedroia.
John Lackey then fielded his position well again when Robinson Cano scorched a comebacker. Lackey snagged it and tossed to first to complete the out.
End 2nd, 0-0: Daniel Nava came up 90 feet short of scoring Boston’s first run.
Nava sent a line drive toward the left field wall with one out in the second inning. Alfonso Soriano raced back, but he was unable to make the grab. The ball clanked off the scoreboard located on the Green Monster, and Nava cruised into second base with a double.
Nava tagged up and advanced to third base when Stephen Drew flied out to right field. Six or seven years ago, Ichiro might have thrown out Nava. But not at age 39.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a bid to drive in Nava with a ground ball back up the middle. Robinson Cano showed great range while making a backhanded play to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Alfonso Soriano is playing like it’s 2002.
The Yankees’ cleanup hitter, who has raised his average by nearly 100 points (from .222 to .320) over his last four games, singled to lead off the second inning before promptly stealing second.
The John Lackey-Alex Rodriguez confrontation ended in a walk, putting runners on first and second with no outs.
A great play behind second base by Stephen Drew, who ranged back to catch a blooper by Curtis Granderson then fired to second to double up Soriano, provided a pair of key outs, but another walk, this one to Eduardo Nunez, again put two men on base.
Lyle Overbay then singled to load the bases, but Lackey got No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart to fly out to center field to end the scare.
End 1st, 0-0: The Sox made some noise early, with leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury sending Hiroki Kuroda’s first pitch into right field.
Kuroda was quick to silence the Boston bats, though, retiring the next three hitters in order to complete a scoreless first inning. The right-hander struck out Shane Victorino and birthday boy Dustin Pedroia on four pitches each before getting David Ortiz to ground out to the mound.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The first two batters were a bit of a battle, but John Lackey kept the ball in the infield en route to a 1-2-3 first frame.
Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki fouled off a combined six pitches before both grounding out to the mound — with Lackey making a nice, lunging grab to snag an Ichiro chopper that nearly bounced over his head.
Robinson Cano proved to be a much easier out, as the Yankees second baseman grounded out into the shift on the first pitch he saw.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia are due up first for the Red Sox.
3:58 p.m.: Before getting started, how about a birthday shoutout for Dustin Pedroia?
Pedroia is celebrating his 30th birthday. He homered on his birthday last year, and he has three career home runs in six big league games on his birthday. That ties him with Ted Williams and Troy O’Leary for the second-most birthday homers in Red Sox history. Nomar Garciaparra leads the way with four home runs on his birthday.
3:46 p.m.: Hiroki Kuroda will pose a big challenge for the Red Sox’ offense Saturday. He’s been good all season, but he’s been really great of late.
Kuroda has allowed more than two earned runs just twice in his last 11 starts. He is 5-2 with a 1.79 ERA in that span, and his 2.33 ERA overall this season is the second-lowest in the American League behind Felix Hernandez (2.28).
Kuroda has not allowed a home run in his last 51 innings pitched, and he has won 10 of his last 15 decisions against AL East opponents.
It’s amazing that this guy wasn’t named an All-Star this season.
3:24 p.m.: The Yankees’ offense looks rejuvenated, and the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano is a big reason why.
Soriano enters Saturday’s game with an amazing 18 RBIs over his last four games, which ties an MLB record. The Yankees have scored at least 10 runs in three of those four games after reaching the 10-run mark in just four of their first 117 contests.
Soriano is hitting .320 (24-for-75) with eight home runs and 26 RBIs since being acquired from the Cubs on July 26.
2:15 p.m.: The Red Sox came out with a lineup and then made a change to it soon after it was posted.
Shane Victorino was originally going to get the day off, as he continues to play at less than 100 percent. John Farrell said that Mike Napoli is dealing with a bit of a foot ailment, though, and the first baseman is a late scratch because of it.
Victorino will thus be inserted into the lineup and man right field. Daniel Nava, who was originally set to play right, will scoot over to left field, while Mike Carp heads into the infield to play first base.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (72-52)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
John Lackey, RHP (7-10, 3.32 ERA)
Brett Gardner, CF
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Curtis Granderson, DH
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Chris Stewart, C
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (11-7, 2.33 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox weren’t sharp Friday — to say the least.
The Red Sox made three errors, surrendered 15 hits and were dominated by the Yankees 10-3 in the series opener. Alfonso Soriano and Mark Reynolds each went deep in what was a subpar outing for Felix Doubront.
All of the Alex Rodriguez hoopla will probably die down a bit Saturday. Then again, he’s the most hated man in baseball, so the Fenway Faithful will probably give the controversial slugger another earful when he comes to the plate for the first time — and then every time after that.
Rodriguez will first dig in against John Lackey, who was rather outspoken this week about A-Rod’s suspension. Lackey and Jonny Gomes are among those who find it unfair that Rodriguez gets to play — and potentially make an impact in a playoff race — while having a historic 211-game suspension over his head.
Lackey will go up against Hiroki Kuroda, who is putting together a very nice season for New York. Kuroda comes in at 11-7 with a 2.33 ERA, and he has lost just one of his last six starts. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 0.94 ERA in that six-start span.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Be sure to drop by.