Red Sox Live Blog: Sox Bullpen Coughs Up Lead As Yankees Claim 10-8 Victory


Red Sox Live Blog: Sox Bullpen Coughs Up Lead As Yankees Claim 10-8 VictoryFinal, Yankees 10-8: It was just erratic from the beginning, when Josh Beckett struggled to retire batters in the first inning.

Despite the fact that Beckett put the Sox in a 5-0 deficit, the Sox offense rallied back to tie it and eventually take a 7-6 lead over the Yankees.

In the end, the bullpen had issues with the Yankees all over again. The bullpen had been so reliable since unraveling in April to New York, but this time they imploded.

That was the difference.

Mid 9th, Yankees 10-8: With two shutout frames, Mark Melancon has lowered his ERA to 7.90.

That's pretty impressive, considering his ERA was at 49.50 when he was demoted to Pawtucket back in April. 

But on another note, Darnell McDonald is coming to play left field against the Red Sox. He was welcomed with cheers by the fans as he adjusts to life with the Yanks. 

End 8th, Yankees 10-8: With two runners on base, Adrian Gonzalez had a great chance to atone for his lack of numbers this season.

Instead, he grounded out to Mark Teixeira. Gonzalez hasn't had much success against Yankees closer Rafael Soriano for his career and this wasn't much different.

Soriano also gave the Red Sox problems in 2010 as a member of the Rays.

Mid 8th, Yankees 10-8: Going back to the seventh inning for one second, it took six different pitchers to record to six outs.

That's madness. But on another note, Mark Melancon pitched a clean inning against his former team in the Yankees.

At one point, Melancon was looked upon as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. Now, that's obviously not the case.

End 7th, Yankees 10-8: The Yankees put in David Robertson and he does what he does — retire batters.

He struck out Nick Punto. The move was needed after Cody Eppley and Boone Logan struggled against Boston's lineup in the seventh.

10:16 p.m.: Cody Ross delivered a solo shot. That's No. 13 on the year.

Mid 7th, Yankees 10-7: The Red Sox' bullpen has been lights out over the past two months.

In fact, the wake up call came after the group blew the nine-run lead against the Yankees. But it appears the Yankees have Boston's bullpen's number.

They rattled them again, giving Padilla, Miller and Scott Atchison headaches.

10:01 p.m.: Vicente Padilla went up against his arch nemesis Mark Teixeira — both have bad blood from their days in Texas.

The Yankees first baseman made him pay, drilling a two-run triple to give New York the lead. Raul Ibanez added another run to give the Yankees a cushion.

9:50 p.m.: Andrew Miller had some issues with control, walking a batter and allowing a single.

After notching a strikeout, he got the hook from Bobby Valentine. Now, Vicente Padilla is coming in.

End 6th, Red Sox 7-6: Ryan Kalish flew out to Nick Swisher in that at-bat, making him 1-for-3.

He appeared like a candidate to go down to Triple-A, but the Red Sox actually activated Scott Podsednik and sent him down to Pawtucket.

With the doubleheader on Saturday, there's a chance that Podsednik could be recalled.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-6: During year or so in the minors, Daniel Nava said he really wanted to work on his defense.

Well, in the sixth, he misplayed a ball and still managed to fire a bullet to second base that nailed Eric Chavez for the out.

That was a key play to help the Sox maintain their lead. The nice snag from Nick Punto also helped the team's cause.

End 5th, Red Sox 7-6: Before the game, Bobby Valentine was asked why he played Mauro Gomez at third base again.

Valentine said he wanted some offensive punch from Gomez, who has hit right-handers and lefties pretty well in the minors.

Gomez rewarded Valentine, driving in Adrian Gonzalez to collect his first career RBI in the majors.

Mid 5th, 6-6: Props to Nick Punto for that gutsy throw from second base to home plate to nail Alex Rodriguez.

That double steal seemed destined to catch the Red Sox off guard, but Punto made a spectacular play and celebrated with the fist pump.

Before that, Rodriguez was 9-for-9 in steal attempts this season.

End 4th, 6-6: When Kuroda elected to intentionally walk David Ortiz, the Fenway faithful offered some pretty harsh boos.

Ortiz leads the American League with 11 intentional walks. That was his first since he drew one against the Braves.

Also, don't expect Ortiz to discussion his contract situation publicly anymore. He said he's going to allow his bat to do the talking.

Mid 4th, 6-6: Derek Jeter collected his second hit of the game — both of which are singles.

But Beckett didn't allow anymore damage to occur under his watch. It took all of nine pitches for Beckett to make quick work of the Yankees' lineup.

He's done better to be more efficient and eat up innings.

End 3rd, 6-6: Another 1-2-3 inning, this time it's coming for Kuroda.

This is how many expected the game to initially unfold. Kuroda leaned on his slider to get Mauro Gomez and Mike Aviles to strike out swinging.

By the way, Gomez told me that he's ready to patrol third base. He said he took grounders there pretty frequently in Triple-A just in case.

Mid 3rd, 6-6: After the first two innings, I wouldn't have expected a 1-2-3 inning from Beckett.

Let alone one, where he recorded three straight strikeouts. At this point, he needs to give the Red Sox some longevity and eat innings to preserve the bullpen.

Saturday's doubleheader could be a burden on the relievers, so it's better to be safe.

End 2nd, 6-6: So is this going to be a marathon or what? Kuroda, one of the prized pickups for the Yankees over the offseason, is going through his worst start of the season.

He yielded an RBI double to David Ortiz. Before the game, the designated hitter was honored for hitting his 400th career home run.

He hugged owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino during the ceremony. Even though he isn't pleased with his deal, he wasn't going to show any ill will.

Mid 2nd, Yankees 6-5: The good news — it only took 11 pitches for Josh Beckett to get out of this inning.

The bad news — he still allowed another run. After giving up a triple to Curtis Granderson, Beckett yielded a double to Robinson Cano. His fastball and cutter really haven't been hitting the spots.

End 1st, 5-5: Talk about a typical, crazy rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Down 5-0, Saltalamacchia continues his torrid pace. He was disappointed that he was snubbed from the All-Star game, so this is a good way to unleash the frustration.

And Hiroki Kuroda was just awful like Beckett. It couldn't get much worse in terms of pitching and the inning lasted 42 minutes.

7:51 p.m.: Jarrod Saltalamacchia just launched a three-run shot, tying the game at five apiece. Talk about a great inning for offense and horrible inning for pitching.

That's why this rivalry is crazy. It was his 17th home run of the season, a new career high for Saltalamacchia.

7:42 p.m.: Ryan Kalish hits a sac fly that scores Daniel Nava.

Mid 1st, Yankees 5-0: Beckett wasn't anywhere remotely close to accurate, throwing 33 pitches and only 15 for strikes.

It was so bad that, frankly, Bob McClure needed to make an early visit to the pitcher. You have to wonder if Beckett is still battling the shoulder inflammation and if that's affecting him.

Justin Germano was in the bullpen warming up even before Beckett recorded his second out.

7:22 p.m.: Josh Beckett has been erratic, allowing two hits and plunking Alex Rodriguez before walking Robinson Cano. Not the start the Red Sox were looking for from him.

Mark Teixeira made matters worse by ripping a two-run single. Uh oh, it's a trip to the mound for Bob McClure.

5:15 p.m.: The Red Sox are about to open arguably their most important series of the year, and they'll have to do so without the services of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia has hit the disabled list with another thumb injury which means the club has to struggle to fill his spot on the 25-man roster and in the lineup. Bobby Valentine will try to fill the hole with Ryan Kalish and Nick Punto on Friday night when the Sox open a crucial four-game set with the division-leading Yankees.

Here are the lineups for both sides.

Red Sox
Daniel Nava, LF
Ryan Kalish, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mauro Gomez, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Nick Punto, 2B

Josh Beckett, RHP

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Nick Swisher, RF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Russell Martin, C

Hiroki Kuroda, RHP

8 a.m. ET: After a forgettable road trip, the Red Sox return to Fenway Park to take on their rivals, the Yankees. Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, pitcher Josh Beckett will look to continue his success against New York from 2011. Last season, Beckett went 4-0 with a 1.85 ERA against the Yankees.

In his last start, Beckett showed no signs of rust, yielding four hits and two runs over six innings. While he issued three walks, Beckett also struck out four batters to lower his ERA to 4.06. He'll take on Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, who tied a career high with 11 strikeouts his last time out against the White Sox. In June, Kuroda went 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 41 innings.

For more details and analysis from Fenway Park, follow's live blog. Tune into NESN's pregame show at 6 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

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