Live Blog: Red Sox at Yankees


Aug 9, 2009

Live Blog: Red Sox at YankeesAll of a sudden, a pitchers' duel became a home run derby.

The Red Sox and Yankees stayed deadlocked in a scoreless tie for six
innings, but the Yankees broke through first in the bottom of the
seventh, and after a barrage of late-inning longballs, the Yankees came
out on top with an eighth-inning rally, securing a 5-2 win. The Yanks
have swept their four-game series at Yankee Stadium, opening a 6
1/2-game lead in the American League East.

Two lefty hurlers, Andy Pettitte and Jon Lester, pitched brilliantly
until the seventh inning. The Yankees cracked Lester first, as Alex
Rodriguez went deep to center field to break the 0-0 tie with a solo
homer, and the Red Sox got revenge in the top of the eighth. Phil Coke,
pitching the eighth in relief of Pettitte, allowed a two-run homer to
Sox newcomer Victor Martinez, and the lead changed hands again.

In the eighth, the Yanks exploded against Daniel Bard and later Hideki
Okajima. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira each went deep, and Nick
Swisher later delivered a two-run single to pad the Bronx Bombers'
lead. Mariano Rivera closed the door for the Yankees' seventh straight
win, and the sixth straight loss for Boston dating back to the
beginning of this week.

For the Red Sox, it's time to start thinking about the wild card.

Final: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2.

As expected, Rivera slams
the door in the top of the ninth. The Sox put up a fight — J.D. Drew
singles and David Ortiz later walks to put two runners on with two out
— but a slow roller up the first-base line from Ellsbury seals the
Sox' fate. The Yankees have swept the series.

End 8th, 5-2 Yanks: What a cruel twist of fate. All of a sudden, the floodgates have opened at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have pulled back in front in dramatic fashion, hitting back-to-back solo home runs off of Daniel Bard with two outs in the eighth. Damon and Teixeira each go deep off of the Sox rookie, whom Tito quickly lifts in favor of Hideki Okajima.

Okajima fares no better, allowing the Yanks to rally even further — eventually, six straight Bronx Bombers reach base against the Boston bullpen, extending the lead to 5-2.

Time for Rivera. Things are looking grim for the Red Sox.

Middle 8th, 2-1 Sox: That, dear readers, is why the Red Sox went
out and acquired Victor Martinez. Martinez goes deep to left field with
one out in the eighth and Dustin Pedroia on first, and it's deep enough
to get out of the ballpark and put the Red Sox on top, 2-1. Jason Bay
later grounds into a double play to squelch any chance of a bigger
Boston rally, but the damage has been done. Forget the streak, and
forget losing this game.

For the Red Sox, it's their first time leading a game since the top of the fourth inning on Thursday night.

End 7th, 1-0 Yanks: For the second time this weekend, Alex
Rodriguez has gone deep to break a scoreless tie. Lester leaves one out
over the plate for A-Rod on a 1-1 count, and A-Rod launches it into the
bullpens in center field — it's his second huge home run of this

The Red Sox are in trouble now — Mariano Rivera has pitched only twice this week and should be well-rested, and Alfredo Aceves should be similarly ready to roll should anything go wrong in the eighth. The Sox have their backs to the wall.

Phil Coke will start off the eighth inning on the mound for the Bombers, with the top of the order (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Martinez) due up.

Middle 7th, 0-0: Pettitte needed a quick 1-2-3 inning to get out
of the seventh with his pitch count still bearably low, and he got it.
Seven pitches and back to the dugout — Lowell lines to right (for a
fairly routine catch that prompts more than a little hot-dogging out of
Nick Swisher), Varitek grounds to third, and Green lines to center.
Make it 31 innings. You think the scoreboard operator's about to run
out of zeroes?

End 6th, 0-0: Lester now has seven strikeouts in six innings,
and amazingly, five of them are looking strikeouts. The Sox' southpaw
punches out Damon looking and Teixeira swinging to end the sixth inning
— he's now retired nine straight Yankees.

What's the over-under on scoreless innings this time? Shall we say 14 again?

Middle 6th, 0-0: How about a goose egg for a change? Pettitte
makes quick work of the Red Sox in the sixth — Youkilis and Bay both
strike out, and J.D. Drew follows with an inning-ending flyout to
center field. The Yanks' lefty now has 104 pitches under his belt, but
he's still going strong.

End 5th, 0-0: Perfect inning for Lester, who has now retired six
straight Yankees. Lester puts together a Melky Cabrera strikeout
sandwiched by groundouts, one to first and one to third. With only 76
pitches, Lester has thrown five scoreless innings. This is starting to
look an awful lot like Friday night, isn't it?

Middle 5th, 0-0: Before this inning, Nick Green was the only Red
Sox batter to lead off an inning with a hit. Here in the fifth, he does
it again — but again, the Sox get nothing. Green singles to center and
Ellsbury bunts him over, but a Pedroia flyout and Martinez groundout
mean another goose egg for the visitors. That's 29, but who's counting?

End 4th, 0-0: Lester continues to match Pettitte, goose egg for
goose egg. We're going to the fifth, still scoreless. The Yankees
briefly threaten in the fourth when Teixeira singles and back-to-back
groundouts put him on third, but the inning ends with a lazy flyout to
right-center from Swish. Sixty-three pitches for Lester, 40 strikes.

Middle 4th, 0-0: The Sox threaten to finally put an end to the
almighty Streak, but they fall just short. Jason Bay and J.D. Drew each
single up the middle with two outs, and Mike Lowell then walks to load
the bases — but Jason Varitek jumps on a 1-0 pitch and lines it right
at the left fielder Damon. The bases are left loaded, and that's 28
straight frames without a run. This is getting scary.

End 3rd, 0-0: Sure enough, this one looks like another pitchers'
duel. Jerry Hairston, Jr. singles to put a runner on against Lester,
but the Sox' lefty strikes out two more Yankees and then gets Johnny
Damon to pop out to short and end the third. Each team now has no runs
on two hits; on to the fourth.

Middle 3rd, 0-0: The best-hit ball of the night for the Red Sox, sadly, is a weak flyout to right off the bat of Dustin Pedroia. It's another quick inning for Pettitte — Green leads off with a single, but Jacoby Ellsbury grounds into a double play and then Pedroia flies out. Make it 27 scoreless.

End 2nd, 0-0: Lester is doing his best to keep this thing a
scoreless tie — and given how dead the Sox' bats are at the moment,
that's the best he can hope for. Posada starts things with a groundout
to Nick Green at short, and Lester follows by striking out back-to-back hitters — Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano — looking. Lester has now struck out 160 batters in a season for the first time in his career.

Middle 2nd, 0-0: Make it 26 straight innings. The Red Sox just can't buy a run — this time it's Jason Varitek who leaves two runners on base. After a J.D. Drew single and a Lowell walk, Varitek goes down swinging and the inning is over. So much for the two-out rally.

End 1st, 0-0: The righty Derek Jeter manages a single up
the middle against the lefty Lester to lead things off, but Lester
takes over from there and retires the side. Jeter takes second on a Johnny Damon groundout, but Lester retires Mark Teixeira and A-Rod to leave the Captain stranded in scoring position. So far, we've got another pitchers' duel.

Middle 1st, 0-0: The energy in Yankee Stadium is palpable
tonight — it's a special night when Andy Pettitte practically gets a
standing ovation for ending the top of the first inning. He puts the
Sox down 1-2-3 here — a groundout to first and two flyouts to right
are all it takes to make it 25 consecutive scoreless innings for this
Yankees pitching staff.

7:55 p.m.: For the Yankees, Jorge Posada is back in the lineup — he will catch and bat fifth. Hideki Matsui gets the night off from his DHing role; Alex Rodriguez moves in from the field to DH and Jerry Hairston, Jr. gets a rare start at third base.

7:30 p.m.: The big news in tonight's starting lineup is that Jason Bay
is back in action for the Red Sox. After sitting out the first three
games of this series with a minor hamstring injury, Bay has opted not
to take a trip to the disabled list — instead, he returns to the
lineup tonight to play left field and bat fifth.

David Ortiz is out of the starting nine, as Mike Lowell moves to the DH spot and Kevin Youkilis will play third; that leaves a spot at first for Victor Martinez, which means Jason Varitek is back behind the plate to catch Lester. Gotta love the daily shuffle on Terry Francona's lineup card.

In other news, the Sox made a slight roster adjustment today — reliever Fernando Cabrera, who is 20-for-20 in save opportunities for Pawtucket, is being promoted to the big-league club. Enrique Gonzalez, who pitched and inning and two-thirds in yesterday's 5-0 loss, returns to the minors.

Still awaiting word on the Yankees' lineup.

10:32 a.m.: The Red Sox have now lost five straight games, and they desperately need a win before leaving the Bronx. This is a big one.

Under the Sunday night spotlight, the Red Sox will take on the Yankees in the finale of a four-game set. They trail the Yankees by 5 1/2 games in the American League East race after losing the first three, and if they let the Bronx Bombers complete the sweep, they'll be all but out of the race for a division title.

Jon Lester
gets the ball for the Sox, and he needs a win. He'll be met by another hard-throwing lefty, Yankees veteran Andy Pettitte, who has really picked things up since the All-Star break. Both pitchers are hot, and both are really going to want this one.

The Sox will look to turn the bats on against Pettitte — they haven't scored a run in 24 innings. Can they do it tonight? They better hope so.

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