Red Sox Live Blog: Jonathan Papelbon Earns 200th Career Save as Red Sox Move Into Tie Atop AL East

Red Sox Live Blog: Jonathan Papelbon Earns 200th Career Save as Red Sox Move Into Tie Atop AL East

Postgame, Red Sox 6-4: Bobby Jenks appears to be OK. It was just a spasm and he expects to miss just a day or two or three.

That was just one of many items being discussed after the game. We will have a look at Jenks, Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester on the site. One other item that stood out was Yankees manager Joe Girardi taking exception to David Ortiz flipping the bat the way he did after the home run off Hector Noesi in the fifth.

Ortiz’s reply: “That’s Papi’s style. You’ve seen that before…it’s not my first time, it won’t be my last time.”

When asked what his emotions were when he connected, Ortiz said: “Just went deep. You want more emotion than that? Just went deep. It’s another homer for Papi, you know what I’m saying?”

The uber confidence and third-person references were vintage Ortiz, but it makes one wonder what sort of drama we will see Saturday night. It’ll be Tim Wakefield against A.J. Burnett. Check in early and often for all the updates leading up to the 7:05 first pitch.

Final, Red Sox 6-4: Nothing seemed easy tonight for the Red Sox, but the win is all that counts.

In a game that sees Jon Lester struggle, the Yankees get runners on in all but two innings and Bobby Jenks get hurt, Boston survives.

And by closing the door on New York in the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon becomes the fastest player to ever reach the 200-save mark, besting Mariano Rivera by 23 games.

Befitting the nature of this one, it was not easy. Papelbon walked the leadoff man, who eventually scored on a single by Jorge Posada. That put Alex Rodriguez up representing the tying run. After a somewhat lengthy battle, Papelbon put him away.

Back up in a bit with reaction, and the update on Jenks.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 6-3: And for the first time since his meltdown, literally and figuratively, Jonathan Papelbon is on to pitch for the Red Sox.

If the Yankees fans want to claim some momentum, they can in the play that ended the top of the ninth. Jacoby Ellsbury tried to stretch a double into a triple, but was out after a picture-perfect relay throw from Robinson Cano.

Brett Gardner is leading off for the Yankees in the ninth. He is 4-for-9 with three walks against Papelbon.

End 8th, Red Sox 6-3: Daniel Bard entered the eighth with a 6.10 ERA in his career at Yankee Stadium. He had thrown at least 28 pitches in three of his last four outings here, including 31 his last time out in The Bronx.

Bard needs only nine to dispatch the Yankees in the eighth. Andruw Jones is a strikeout victim to end it.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 6-3: He did give up a two-run homer to David Ortiz, but Hector Noesi has allowed the Yankees to stick around and has spared their bullpen big time.

Noesi works another perfect frame in the eighth. Daniel Bard is the new pitcher for the Red Sox. He has struck out six and has not walked a batter in his last five outings, all scoreless.

End 7th, Red Sox 6-3: The Yankees will be kicking themselves after this one. They have had men on in six of the seven innings and have still outhit the Red Sox.

Eight runners have been left on by New York. Robinson Cano hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.

Nice job there by Matt Albers. He entered in a tough situation, inheriting a 3-1 count on a hitter and having to warm up on the fly. Albers threw a ball to finish off that walk, which is charged to Bobby Jenks, and then two more to Alex Rodriguez before pitching coach Curt Young went to the mound to have a chat.

The talk worked. Albers got Rodriguez on a lazy fly to right and then the twin killing off the bat of Cano.

9:41 p.m.: Another day, another Red Sox reliever hurt after throwing a pitch. This time it is Bobby Jenks, although this one is harder to decipher than the Rick Hill injury.

Jenks may have done something to his back, according to a colleague who can read lips well. Matt Albers is on in relief. He inherits a 3-1 count to Jorge Posada, the leadoff man in the seventh.

Will pass on the Jenks update when we have it. It’s too bad. He just can’t seem to get right. Terry Francona talked about how Jenks seemed to be “staying in his delivery” so well since coming back from the biceps strain, and that it allowed him to not have to exert himself. He seemed to over-exert right there, and the injury was a possible result.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-3: And here comes Bobby Jenks. Jon Lester gave up three runs on eight hits, one walk and two hit batters. He struck out five.

Daniel Bard will work the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon the ninth if this score remains the same. I mention that because of Papelbon’s three-game suspension for his ejection and all that came with it Saturday afternoon. Papelbon is appealing the suspension so remains available.

End 6th, Red Sox 6-3: Happens every time. I mention a trend or a stat or something like that and the opposite happens.

Jon Lester has the elusive 1-2-3 inning to coast through the sixth. Again, it is his first of that variety since midway through Boston’s 14-2 win in Cleveland on May 25.

That should be it for Lester. Bobby Jenks is throwing in the bullpen. Lester threw 112 pitches. It was a quality start, but at times a struggle. Then again, against the Yankees you will take it eight days a week.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-3: A great leaping catch by Robinson Cano ends a 1-2-3 inning for Hector Noesi.

Jon Lester will now empty his tank. The last time he was in a very similar situation (sixth inning against Chicago seven days ago), he couldn’t get out of the inning and gave up a season-high seven runs.

Lester’s career ERA with six or more day’s rest was 4.02 entering this one. The benefits of extra rest do not always show themselves in an immediate fashion. Perhaps his next time out he will look a bit stronger.

End 5th, Red Sox 6-3: Here’s one for you. Jon Lester’s last 1-2-3 inning came in the fifth frame at Cleveland back on May 25.

Since then, he has thrown 12 innings in which he has had to work from the stretch. In most of those, multiple men reached base, as was the case in the fifth.

Jorge Posada had an infield single (yes, it’s true, I witnessed it) and Russell Martin had a base hit two outs later. Lester then tossed a heater right down the heart of the plate that Nick Swisher drove into the left-center field gap. Both men scored and Lester left the mound at 96 pitches, still searching for his usual stuff.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-1: There have been a lot of quiet crowds here when the Red Sox have come to town this year. It was like a library after David Ortiz smacked a two-run bomb to right in the fifth.

Hector Noesi came way inside on Ortiz just one pitch prior. If he was attempting to hit him, he hasn’t learned the trade yet. Ortiz took the next offering, a flat fastball, out of the park and flipped his bat in the way that only guys who are as locked in as Ortiz can.

That is 25 extra-base hits since the start of May for Ortiz, tops in the majors.

End 4th, Red Sox 4-1: The bad news is that Jon Lester has thrown 80 pitches in four innings. The good news is that his 80th was a 96 mph fastball that got Curtis Granderson swinging, stranding two runners in the fourth.

The Yankees have left seven on base already.

Derek Jeter had one of two hits in the inning for New York. That puts him 12 away from 3,000.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out trying to steal second base for the second out of the fourth.

Ellsbury has now been gunned down eight times in 30 attempts this year, a success rate of 73.3 percent. His career rate coming into this season was 85.0 percent.

Great throw by Russell Martin to get Ellsbury this time. Low and strong. Kinda like my singing voice.

End 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: J.D. Drew is so quiet that you almost forget about him from time to time. Then he goes and makes a catch like the one to end the third and possibly save a run from scoring.

Drew made a running and leaping grab of Russell Martin’s shot into the gap. Had it gotten past him, the runner on first might’ve come around, even if it was Jorge Posada. With two outs he was off on contact.

By the way, Posada broke an 0-for-27 slide to start the year against lefties with his single to left.

Hector Noesi is the new pitcher for New York.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: Luis Ayala’s longest career outing is three innings. He may have to yield to Hector Noesi after getting four straight outs in this one.

Noesi is a relative unknown to Red Sox fans, but he has been solid for the Yankees since coming up last month. In 9 1/3 innings so far, he has allowed just one run on eight hits. The righty is up and warming in the pen.

Ayala walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the third before striking out J.D. Drew. That’s the second time this year that Salty has drawn multiple walks in a game, and we’re only in the third. But you knew that.

End 2nd, Red Sox 4-1: If it feels as if the Red Sox are always getting the better of their rivals early in the year, it’s not your imagination.

If history is any indication, Boston will do very well in this series. Since 2002, when these two teams began to play rather even season series, the Red Sox own a 50-36 record against the Yankees before the All-Star break.

After the intermission, Boston’s record is an ugly 32-49. The two teams do not meet again until August, at which point New York will dominate. Right?

Anyway, the bottom of the second inning sees the first zero of the game go on the board. Derek Jeter did pick up career hit No. 2,987, but Jon Lester reached back to strike out Curtis Granderson and get back into the dugout.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 4-1: We’re right on pace for a midnight finish!

Luis Ayala does his job in the second. He gets Kevin Youkilis to fly to left, leaving the bases loaded and closing the books on Freddy Garcia.

There will be many eyes on Jon Lester here. He is just living in the stretch these days. Either he fixes whatever is ailing him, or we start to wonder if something else is going on. Natural curiosity when you see a guy normally so dominant allowing two men to reach nearly every inning for about a month.

7:54 p.m.: Freddy Garcia gets five outs before turning this one over to the bullpen. Outings like that can kill a bullpen when you have three straight games against an offense like Boston’s.

Garcia gave up a walk, a single and an RBI double to Dustin Pedroia. He intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases. With that, Joe Girardi calls upon Luis Ayala.

Big spot early in this game.

End 1st, Red Sox 3-1: There was actually a sense around here that the Yankees were going to be particularly tough this time around. Not only do they have the memory of the three-game Boston sweep in their heads, but they are also coming off a very solid road trip.

The bulk of the first inning went about as bad as it possibly could for New York. Freddy Garcia gets hammered and then Jon Lester hits Mark Teixeira in the right knee with a pitch that knocks the Yankees first baseman to the ground. Teixeira limped off the field and may have some damage there. We will await word.

However, that pitch was just one of many wayward offerings from Lester, whose control issues continue. Lester also walked a man and hit Russell Martin with a pitch in nearly the same spot. He now leads the majors with nine hit batters, all but two of them taking place in the last six starts.

And, again, it is that suddently troublesome cutter that is giving Lester fits. For whatever reason, he cannot command it, yet is throwing it at an increased rate, perhaps because he is not confident in anything else.

Lester needed 33 pitches to get out of the inning. Robinson Cano’s RBI single produced the lone run, but Lester needed a nice play from Kevin Youkilis to get the last out with the bases loaded. Something is very off with your power leftyAlso, w

Also, we may see some retribution in this one. Perhaps Adrian Gonzalez gets it.

Mid 1st, Red Sox 3-0: When your first out of the game is a sacrifice fly that gives your team its third run, you know the bats are alive.

The Red Sox jump all over Freddy Garcia, who may be due for an absolute stinker at some point.

Jacoby Ellsbury jumped on a 2-2 offering from Garcia for his seventh home run of the season. The bleacher creatures were in the midst of chanting “Boston Sucks” just as Ellsbury made contact. Then, they began to chant “Ohhhhhhh….”

Dustin Pedroia followed with a walk and Adrian Gonzalez then ripped one off the 385-foot sign in right-center field. It bounced around long enough for him to race around for a triple, amazingly his second of the year. He then scored on Kevin Youkilis’ fly to left.

7:09 p.m.: Freddy Garcia’s first pitch is a ball to Jacoby Ellsbury. It’s 85 degrees at game time.

6:07 p.m.: If it seems like it’s been a long time since you’ve seen Jon Lester on the mound, well, it has.

Lester last threw May 30 at home against Chicago. He allowed a season-high seven runs and was extremely self-critical.

If you recall, Lester was left out there for 127 pitches. One reason was the fact that there would be two off-days in the schedule before he would next get the call.

Terry Francona indicated that there is nothing Lester needs to work on other than his approach — the lefty has been relying too heavily on his cutter. The extra time off was not used to adjust any mechanics.

“He’s probably falling in love with that cutter a little bit, which he knows,” Francona said. “Gave him a couple of extra days, which will be good. We’re going to lean on him. He knows that. We already have. So anytime you can grab a couple extra days.”

Lester is 7-1 in his career against the Yankees and got the win here May 15, but it wasn’t his best performance. It was part of a five-start stretch in which his ERA is 6.52. Then again, getting a win in this place is certainly nothing to take for granted.

“You’ve gotta be on your game against this lineup because you make a mistake, they’re going to grind you,” Francona added. “You have to stay out of the middle and pound the zone. That’s no secret formula.”

4:47 p.m.: While the Yankees hit and the Red Sox stretch beneath sunny skies, here are a few pregame notes.

The big news of the day, of course, is the return of Marco Scutaro and his immediate insertion into the starting lineup. There were a handful of factors into putting Scutaro right in there, chief among them is the lingering shoulder issues for Jed Lowrie.

If you recall, Lowrie hurt his left shoulder in a collision with Carl Crawford on the last road trip in Detroit. He needed a day off a few days later, but there is some lingering pain.

“Well Jed’s been our shortstop and done a terrific job,” manager Terry Francona said when asked about the playing time split between the two. “I just think Jed’s shoulder’s been nagging at him a little bit. We can get him back-to-back days off, Marco’s got real good numbers against this guy and he’s played three days in a row so he’s kind of in good game shape, so try to take advantage of both.”

Francona said that Lowrie’s injury has “plateaued,” implying it is not necessarily getting any better but not getting any worse. That is certainly something to keep an eye on, especially given Lowrie’s recent struggles – he is batting .245 (27-for-110) since the start of May and continues to have troubles against right-handers.

Everyone else is relatively healthy and accounted for. Francona was asked a few questions about David Ortiz, who has taken over lead among designated hitters in the AL All-Star voting. The reigning AL Player of the Week continues to use all fields, and abuse all pitchers.

“When he was that monster, 04-06, he drove the ball to the opposite field as well as anyone in the game, probably better. Now it seems like he’s back to that,” Francona said before describing Ortiz’s three hits in three at-bats against Oakland lefty Brett Anderson the other day, none of which were pulled. “He stood up there and he just peppered the ball to left-center field.

It’s an important guy for us. We talked about last year how we struggled against lefties because David and J.D. Now, David’s stuck right in the five-hole and he’s hitting everybody, and it’s been huge for us.”

Back in a bit with a little more for you.

3:21 p.m.: Just as a reminder, the Red Sox continue to make their draft selections. We will have a full rundown of those picks as the day goes on.

Heading down to the clubhouse in a few minutes. Back in a bit with all the pregame updates.

3:04 p.m.: Greetings from Yankee Stadium, where the first of what will be three very steamy nights is upon us. Actually, the next two nights will be even hotter, but temps were near 90 as I strolled over from my temporary pad.

Marco Scutaro, as expected, is back with the Red Sox and active for this one. He will get right back in there and give Jed Lowrie a rest. Here is the Scutaro-anchored lineup against right-hander Freddy Garcia:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Marco Scutaro, SS

8 a.m.: The last time the Red Sox visited New York, they walked away with three wins in their pocket.

The two old rivals renew acquaintances in The Bronx once again Tuesday night, when Jon Lester leads Boston into the first of three straight.

The Red Sox swept the Yankees in the middle of last month. Lester got the win in the finale of that set, but it was not his best performance and only part of a five-start span that has seen him post a 6.52 ERA.

However, the lefty is 7-1 in 13 career starts vs. New York.

Freddy Garcia, who lost to Lester in that series finale on May 15, gets the ball for the Yankees. He has won his last two starts, part of a 13-6 stretch for New York since it suffered the sweep at the hands of Boston.

The surge has enabled the Yankees to maintain a one-game lead entering the series.

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and NESN will be there to carry you through all the action.

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