Final, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox win in dramatic fashion.
Mike Napoli’s home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning hands Boston an important victory. The Red Sox now are 3-6 on the current 10-game road trip, which wraps up Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Napoli and David Ross provided the only offense for Boston in what was a well-pitched game on both sides. Masahiro Tanaka and Jon Lester went toe-to-toe in a matchup that lived up to expectations.
Lester allowed just one unearned run over eight innings while earning his ninth win of the season. He struck out six, walked two and threw 118 pitches (74 strikes).
Tanaka tossed a complete game while suffering the third loss of his major league career. He allowed seven hits — two homers — and struck out eight while throwing 116 pitches (86 strikes).
John Lackey and Chase Whitley will square off in Sunday’s rubber match, which also is expected to mark Mookie Betts’ big league debut.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 2-1: Mike Napoli broke the 1-1 tie with a solo blast into the first row of seats in right field.
Masahiro Tanaka, who had been cruising along, was stunned. Tanaka tried to put Napoli away with a 1-2 fastball. Bad decision.
Both of Boston’s runs have come on homers, as David Ross also went deep back in the third inning.
Koji Uehara will look to close this one out. He’s scheduled to face Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann in the ninth inning.
End 8th, 1-1: The eighth inning ended in strange fashion.
Mark Teixeira struck out looking as Jacoby Ellsbury attempted to steal second base. David Ross’ throw — which was meaningless — traveled into center field. The inning was over, but Ellsbury popped up and kept running before ultimately realizing Teixeira had been rung up.
The Red Sox turned a sick double play in the eighth inning, too. Derek Jeter followed Brett Gardner’s leadoff walk with a ground ball up the middle. Dustin Pedroia hit the dirt and made a nasty backhanded flip out of his glove to Stephen Drew
Mid 8th, 1-1: Masahiro Tanaka fired up the Yankee Stadium crowd in the eighth inning by striking out Daniel Nava to finish off another scoreless frame.
David Ross, Brock Holt and Nava couldn’t get anything going. Nava chased a 1-2 slider out of the zone for Tanaka’s seventh strikeout.
Jon Lester will come back out to begin the eighth inning, though there’s some shuffling in the Red Sox’s bullpen.
End 7th, 1-1: This pitching matchup is living up to expectations.
Jon Lester overcame a two-out single in the seventh inning to complete another scoreless frame. His pitch count is at 100, so it’s likely he’ll at least start the eighth inning.
Brian Roberts singled in the seventh. Lester avoided any trouble by handling Yangervis Solarte via a popout.
Mid 7th, 1-1: The Red Sox’s offense didn’t get anything going in the seventh inning.
Stephen Drew, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. were retired in order by Masahiro Tanaka.
David Ross’ third-inning home run remains Tanaka’s only blemish.
End 6th, 1-1: The Yankees failed to score despite producing three hits in the sixth inning.
David Ross is responsible for the Red Sox’s lone run, as he homered back in the third inning. The catcher made a defensive impact in the sixth.
Brett Gardner led off with a single into center field. Gardner tried to swipe second base, but Ross had other plans. Ross gunned down the speedy outfielder with a beautiful throw.
Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury struck back-to-back singles with one out, but Jon Lester buckled down.
Lester retired Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran to preserve the 1-1 tie. Beltran chased a pitch in the dirt, and Ross fired down to first base to complete the inning-ending out.
Mid 6th, 1-1: It was the Yankees’ turn to benefit from an overturned call in the sixth inning.
Dustin Pedroia shot the gap with a line drive and attempted to hustle his way to a double. Jacoby Ellsbury’s toss beat Pedroia to second base, but Pedey used a swim move while attempting to avoid the tag.
The nifty move fooled second base umpire Chris Segal, who initially called Pedroia safe. Yankees manager Joe Girardi called for a challenge, though, and the play correctly was overturned. Second baseman Brian Roberts tagged Pedroia just in time.
David Ortiz grounded out, and Mike Napoli struck out to end the inning.
End 5th, 1-1: The Red Sox called for a challenge in the fifth inning after first base umpire Mark Wegner clearly botched a call.
Yangervis Solarte hit a slow roller down the third base line. Xander Bogaerts made a barehanded pick and delivered an off-balance throw to Mike Napoli, who was forced to stretch.
Wegner initially called Solarte safe, apparently thinking Napoli’s foot came off the bag. It didn’t, though, and the call was overturned following Boston’s challenge.
It was an all-around nice defensive display by Bogaerts and Napoli.
Mid 5th, 1-1: Brock Holt collected a double in the fifth inning, though Alfonso Soriano helped a great deal.
Holt hit a sinking liner into right field with two outs. Soriano charged in and seemed to find himself in an awkward in-between area, unsure of whether to dive or play the ball on a hop.
Soriano ultimately chose to dive, and the ball scooted away from him, allowing Holt to reach second base.
Daniel Nava couldn’t cash in with the runner in scoring position. He rolled a ground ball to Brian Roberts at second base.
The Red Sox are 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
End 4th, 1-1: Nothing doing for the Yankees in the fourth inning.
Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano were handled by Jon Lester, who has pitched well thus far.
Teixeira struck out. Beltran and Soriano flied out to left field.
Beltran’s fly ball seemed to give Daniel Nava some trouble, but he rebounded and raced in to make the catch.
Mid 4th 1-1: Masahiro Tanaka used some big strikeouts to navigate through major trouble in the fourth inning.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz — a combination that really needs to get going for Boston — started the inning with a single and a double, respectively. The Red Sox still came away empty-handed.
Tanaka struck out Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew. Napoli couldn’t touch a sinker down, and Drew chased an 0-2 pitch in the dirt.
Xander Bogaerts ended the inning — and the threat — by grounding out to his idol, Derek Jeter.
End 3rd, 1-1: Stephen Drew has had tons of offensive problems this season. The shortstop made an error that cost the Red Sox in the third inning.
Brian Roberts led off with a ground ball to the left side. Drew charged in while ranging to his right and attempted to backhand the ball. He couldn’t corral it, though, and Roberts reached on the error.
The threat increased when Jon Lester hit Yangervis Solarte on the foot with a 1-0 pitch. Solarte did some quick, light running up the line and stayed in the game.
Brett Gardner, who runs very well, followed with a sacrifice bunt. Third baseman Xander Bogaerts charged in to field it, but Gardner’s speed made it a close play at first base.
The Yankees grabbed a run when Derek Jeter grounded to short. Drew delivered a high throw, but Mike Napoli was able to making a leaping catch at first base before slapping a tag on Jeter’s back. Roberts, meanwhile, scored from third base.
Jacoby Ellsbury grounded up the middle to end the inning. Drew made a nice play and fired on the run to cap a busy inning for the shortstop.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Raise your hand if you had David Ross homering off Masahiro Tanaka in this game.
Presumably, not many hands are raised. But that’s exactly what Ross did in the third inning to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Ross cranked a 1-0 fastball from Tanaka over the wall in left-center field. It was Ross’ fourth home run of the season, raising his average to .184.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt and Daniel Nava all took aim at Jacoby Ellsbury in the third inning. Ellsbury ran his behind off and recorded all three putouts.
End 2nd, 0-0: Jon Lester answered Masahiro Tanaka’s wheeling and dealing with a nice second inning of his own.
Lester retired the side in order. Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann were handled.
Beltran popped out, Soriano struck out and McCann grounded out.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Masahiro Tanaka is sharp early.
Tanaka walked Mike Napoli but otherwise enjoyed a very impressive second inning. The right-hander recorded three strikeouts while holding the Red Sox scoreless.
David Ortiz, Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts all went down swinging against Tanaka.
Ortiz put up a good battle but ultimately went down swinging on a 3-2 slider. Drew waved at a splitter, and Bogaerts swung through a slider.
End 1st, 0-0: The Yankees stranded a runner in scoring position in the first inning.
Jon Lester walked Derek Jeter with one out after Brett Gardner led off the game with a fly ball to center field that Jackie Bradley Jr. drifted over to grab.
Jeter took second base on Jacoby Ellsbury’s groundout, but wound up stranded there because Mark Teixeira popped out to short.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Masahiro Tanaka’s first inning was clean.
Tanaka retired Brock Holt, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia in order.
Holt and Pedroia both put the ball on the ground. Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter took care of business.
Nava flied out to his left field counterpart.
7:11 p.m.: Brock Holt digs in. Let’s go.
6:30 p.m.: The Red Sox took the plunge Saturday.
After weeks of speculation, the Red Sox finally called up phenom prospect Mookie Betts from Triple-A Pawtucket. Betts, whose locker in the visitors’ clubhouse at Yankee Stadium is located between Dustin Pedroia’s and Xander Bogaerts’, will wear No. 50 with Boston.
Betts is not in Saturday’s starting lineup, though. Red Sox manager John Farrell said the club wanted him to arrive, get acclimated and go through a full day of work in right field before being inserted into the starting nine. Betts is expected to start Sunday’s game, and he’ll play both center field and right field while up with the Sox, according to Farrell.
Now that you know who isn’t in the lineup, let’s look at who is in the lineup for Saturday’s game.
Boston Red Sox (36-44)
Brock Holt, RF
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, LHP (8-7, 3.14 ERA)
New York Yankees (41-37)
Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Carlos Beltran, DH
Alfonso Soriano, RF
Brian McCann, C
Brian Roberts, 2B
Yangervis Solarte, 3B
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP (11-2, 2.11 ERA)
6 p.m. ET: It’s a battle of aces in the Bronx.
Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka will go toe-to-toe Saturday as the Boston Red Sox look to rebound from being blanked 6-0 by the New York Yankees in Friday’s series opener at Yankee Stadium. The clock is ticking for the Red Sox to turn their season around.
Lester and Tanaka already hooked up once this season back on April 22. Tanaka and the Yankees won that game handily, as Lester surrendered eight runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings behind some sloppy defense from the Red Sox. Tanaka, meanwhile, went 7 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out seven and not walking anyone.
The April 22 outing marked Tanaka’s first ever start against the Red Sox. The Japanese product, of course, signed a monster contract with the Yankees over the offseason, although there were reports that Boston had done its homework on the young ace.
Tanaka’s first season in the majors has been impressive. He enters Saturday night’s game with an 11-2 record and 2.11 ERA. Tanaka’s WHIP is an impressive 0.96, and the 25-year-old has averaged 10 strikeouts per nine innings through his first 15 starts.
Lester enters Saturday’s contest on the heels of a no-decision Sunday against the Oakland Athletics. The left-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over 7 2/3 innings in a game the Red Sox blew but won in extra innings.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Keep it right here for all the action.