The night started out well, as Pedroia took Hughes deep and it appeared the Sox offense would be roaring. But the Yankees starter settled in and Aaron Cook got rocked for six runs over four innings.
Boston has a shot for much of the late innings, sitting a 6-3 deficit, that is until Melancon struggled mightily and gave up a massive Grand(erson) Slam to deep right field. And that was all she wrote, as the Yankes took a 10-3 lead and didn't look back.
That moves the Sox to a regrettable two games under .500, and if Jon Lester can't turn things around on Saturday this team may be headed straight for the chopping block.
End 8th Inning, Yankees 10-3: Mark Melancon may not have regrets about his time with the Yankees, but he's definitely regretting that pitch.
After narrowly escaping trouble, thanks to stellar defense from Mike Aviles, Melancon walked the bases loaded and allowed Curtis Granderson to unload them with one swing of the bat.
With that bomb, the Yankees take a commanding lead.
Mid 8th Inning, Yankees 6-3: Even the top of the Boston order couldn't manage a rally against the Yankees.
It seems to be getting harder and harder to find any sort of rhythm with this lineup, and it certainly doesn't help when Cook gives up a couple big bombs and settles in with a 6-3 deficit.
The bullpen has been outstanding on Friday, but without any signs of further offense it looks like this one will just drop the Sox to two games under .500 — yikes!
End 7th Inning, Yankees 6-3: Andrew Miller was stupendous in relief, taking after Franklin Morales strong outing and laying the Yankees down.
Miller struck out Teixeira and was lucky enough to get Raul Ibanez swinging, a first after his early-inning escapades.
The BoSox offense needs to kick it into gear with David Robertson headed on in relief, though.
Mid 7th Inning, Yankees 6-3: The Boston offense has been nearly non-existent since Salty's fourth-inning blast.
There's only been one base runner for the Red Sox in the past three innings and no sign of life or chance at a run.
It will be interesting to see with the top of the lineup slated to come up in the eighth, if there's any change in the behavior or demeanor at the plate.
This game real is make or break!
End 6th Inning, Yankees 6-3: You might as well call Franklin Morales the lawnmower, because he just cuts guys down at the dish.
Morales had another stellar showing in the sixth, this time sitting down Derek Jeter on strikes to get into the top half of the seventh.
With just 30 pitches thrown and nearly five days of rest since his last outing, don't be surprised if Morales has the juice for another inning. But Valentine would be wise to save the lefty for the rest of the weekend.
Phil Hughes has been stellar over the past three innings, and really overall on Friday.
Another 1-2-3 affair in the sixth and the Yankees are cruising as Hughes mows down the Sox lineup.
Gonzalez and Ross went down quick, and Salty — surprise, surprise — headed back to the dugout with a big K to his name.
Is it time to give Kelly Shoppach the full-time gig behind the plate? It might at least be worth a shot…
End 5th Inning, Yankees 6-3: Aaron Cook was finished after just four innings, but Franklin Morales came on with a seamless transition — catch the baseball pun there?
Morales walked Raul Ibanez — suddenly a Red Sox killer — but otherwise was stellar, sitting Cano, Teixeira and Jones in a simple 14-pitch inning.
The Boston bats need to come alive again to keep the Sox in this one, though.
Mid 5th Inning, Yankees 6-3: The Red Sox have five hits through five innings at the dish. But three of them are home runs, and they all come in as solo shots.
Pedroia came close to belting another and getting the Sox back to within one run, but the blast fell just short and Ichiro put the inning to rest.
With five different guys responsible for all five hits, it may take the will of one man to make this game back into a competitive outing. To be seen if any of them have the ability to get the Sox back in it.
Some ominous clouds are making their way over the top of Yankees Stadium, which could signal some trouble for this one. Let's hope they hold off, though, as this could well be the first Red Sox-Yankees game to finish in under three hours in decades…
End 4th Inning, Yankees 6-3: This is becoming a game of "anything" — as in, anything you can do, I can do better.
So what, Salty hits a big bomb and suddenly Russell Martin feels inferior? Oh sure, let's break out the tape measure and see who's is bigger — bats, I mean.
Anyways, Martin gives the Yankees another three-run lead and Cook could be headed for the pine in no time, as Franklin Morales and Junichi Tazawa are ready to come on in relief.
The Yankees are pumped, though, just look at Mark Teixeira's face after the bomb…
Saltalamacchia absolutely crushed a fastball deep to left field, giving the Sox their third solo shot of the evening and yet again cutting the deficit to just one run.
Salty's been boom or bust of late it seems, either striking out or going deep — there's really no in between.
Still, even with the Salty blast, the Sox still trail 4-3 and are in need of more consistency out of Cook on the bump.
End 3rd Inning, Yankees 4-2: Ruh roh, Cookie Monster. After four innings, it's becoming pretty clear that Cook just doesn't have his best stuff on Friday.
A quick rally in the start of the third inning, and Mark Teixeira makes the Sox pay yet again.
This time it was sacrifice fly to left field, and Jeter came in from score to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. It's not out of hand by any means, but if Cook doesn't get his stuff together on the mound, this one could get ugly early.
Mid 3rd Inning, Yankees 3-2: Carl! So good to see you again!
After going hitless in his past 17 at bats, Crawford just laid into that one sending it on a ride and reinvigorating the Boston offense.
The Sox are now back within a run and looking to continue capitalizing on the top of the lineups success against Hughes.
End 2nd Inning, Yankees 3-1: Much like Hughes, Cook settled down in the second inning.
The Yankees had nothing going after a three-run first, sitting down in order and getting this game moving along nicely.
Cook will need to hold off the New York bats if he has any hope of getting the Sox in a position to take this one.
Mid 2nd Inning, Yankees 3-1: After a rocky start to his night, nearly letting the Red Sox blow open a big lead in the first, Phil Hughes has seemingly settled in.
Hughes — which is a great last name I might add — had no problem making quick work of the Red Sox in the second, sitting down Middlebrooks, Nava and Aviles 1-2-3
End 1st Inning, Yankees 3-1: Aaron Cook's groundball inducing style nearly snuck the Red Sox out of some trouble, but Mike Aviles just couldn't get the handle down.
Raul Ibanez capitalized on a 1-2 fastball and took Cook deep to right field with a big blast, giving the Yanks a 3-1 lead.
After a Curtis Granderson single led things off, Robinson Cano moved him along with a single. But it was Mark Teixeira's hustle down the first base line, paired with a little indecision from Aviles, that saw Grandy come all the way around to score.
The double-play would have seen the Sox head back to the dugout unscathed, but instead they are in yet another early hole.
Start digging, boys!
Mid 1st Inning, Red Sox 1-0: Dustin Pedroia is sick of losing and he's doing everything he can to make sure that ends — and fast.
Pedey blasted a home run in the top of the first inning off Yankees starter Phil Hughes and gave sinkerballer Aaron Cook some early comfort in this one.
The big blast sparked the offense, too, as Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross got in on the action with a pair of hits. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia fell back into his old ways with a brutal strikeout to end the threat.
Still the Sox are on the board early with a 1-0 lead and there's finally some signs of life in this team after a dreadful 1-5 stretch since last weekend.
7 p.m.: Let's get this baby underway, the Red Sox need at least two games in this series and it all starts with Friday night's Bronx beatdown.
6:18 p.m.: As the Sox head into New York for a crucial three-game set, they'll be squaring off with the team with MLB's best record.
The Yankees are tied with the Washington Nationals with a 59-39 record on the season. But even with the current dominance, the rich just continued to get richer this week as Ichiro Suzuki joined on with the Bronx Bombers — making the wild card race rather pointless.
"When I watched those games on TV," Ichiro said, according to the New York Post. "They looked like fighting, not in a real sense, but physically. It was more like a fighting atmosphere is what I felt watching TV. "I know there is a lot of tradition. I have just been here a few days. I don't know what to expect."
5:45 p.m.: Carl Crawford will continue his shuffle up and down the Red Sox lineup on Friday, batting second after staying in the seventh spot the last two games.
For the Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki will get his introduction to the Boston-New York rivalry for the first time, making his NYC debut as a member of the Bronx Bombers. He'll face Aaron Cook, pitching for the Sox and hoping to rebound from one of his worst performances of the year.
Check out the full lineups below.
Red Sox (49-50)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carl Crawford LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Cody Ross RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Daniel Nava DH
Mike Aviles SS
Aaron Cook P
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Andruw Jones DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Russel Martin C
Phil Hughes P
8 a.m. ET: Saying that the Red Sox' first trip to New York this year is important might be an understatement.
After losing two out of three to the Texas Rangers, Boston is languishing in last place of the AL East and is nearing a critical point of the season.
The trade deadline is only days away, and how the Sox fare against the Yankees is likely going to determine the direction the team takes on July 31.
If the Sox can find a way to win a couple or even sweep the Bronx bombers, Ben Cherington and the top brass might be encouraged to enter the trade deadline as buyers in the hopes of making a run at the playoffs. If the Sox falter, the team could begin shipping out pieces to retool for next year.
Aaron Cook will be the first to take the mound for Boston, coming off one of his worst performances of the year. While the righty has been solid in a Red Sox uniform for the most part, he was tagged for the loss against Toronto in his last start after giving up five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
He'll face the new-look, first-place New York on Friday, as Cook joins new Yankee outfielder Ichiro Suzuki in getting a first taste of the rivalry.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., but check back throughout the day for updates and be sure to tune in for pregame coverage on NESN beginning at 5:30 p.m.
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