Final, Red Sox 8-4: Make it 37 straight batters and 30 1/3 straight innings for Koji Uehara.
Uehara tossed a perfect ninth inning to nail down an 8-4 win for Boston. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning was the difference.
The Red Sox jumped all over Hiroki Kuroda to begin the game. They posted four runs on four hits in the first inning to seize momentum right out of the shoot. The Yankees battled as Kuroda settled down, though, and Robinson Cano tied the game at four apiece in the top of the seventh with a two-run RBI double into the right-center field gap.
The Red Sox didn’t waste much time recapturing the lead. Saltalamacchia crushed a 1-0 fastball over the right field bullpens to give the Sox an 8-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Boston never looked back.
Jon Lester and CC Sabathia will go toe-to-toe Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Boston’s magic number stands at 7 with the Rays winning Friday.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-4: Matt Daley worked through a two-out double to keep the Red Sox scoreless in the eighth inning.
Daley got Dustin Pedroia to ground to second base and then struck out Shane Victorino on three pitches.
David Ortiz drove a double into the gap in left-center with two down, but Daley bounced back to retire Jonny Gomes.
Koji Uehara will now enter with a four-run lead in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 8-4: Junichi Tazawa followed Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s seventh-inning heroics with a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Will Middlebrooks leaped into the air to snag Lyle Overbay’s hard line drive to begin the eighth inning.
Tazawa finished the eighth by inducing back-to-back flyouts. Eduardo Nunez flied out to center field and Ichiro Suzuki flied out to right field.
End 7th, Red Sox 8-4: The Red Sox matched their biggest lead of the night with one swing of the bat.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia crushed a two-out grand slam over the bullpens in right field to give the Red Sox an 8-4 lead.
Saltalamacchia’s grand slam is the third of his career. His last came on May 5, 2009 in Seattle. It’s also Salty’s second home run in as many nights, as he homered in Tampa Bay on Thursday as well.
Preston Claiborne surrendered the grand slam, and he was charged with two of the four runs. One run each was charged to Cesar Cabral and Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda was charged with five earned runs on eight hits in his six innings of work. He struck out two, walked two and threw 101 pitches (56 strikes).
Claiborne’s numbers lately have been atrocious. His last three outings have all come against the Red Sox, and he has given up nine earned runs on nine hits in 1 2/3 innings. The Red Sox have jacked three long balls against Claiborne in that span.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
9:38 p.m., 4-4: Cesar Cabral drilled David Ortiz on the second pitch of the at-bat.
Preston Claiborne is now taking over with runners at first and second and no outs. Jonny Gomes has pinch hit for Mike Carp.
9:33 p.m., 4-4: Shane Victorino ripped a hot smash past Alex Rodriguez to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Yankees will now turn to lefty Cesar Cabral with David Ortiz coming up.
Mid 7th, 4-4: Giving up two runs in the top of the seventh inning always makes for a lackluster singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
That was the case here, as Robinson Cano’s two-run, two-out double tied the game at four apiece.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Brandon Workman escaped the inning without any further damage. Workman faced one batter and got Alfonso Soriano to ground out with runners at second and third.
Craig Breslow gave up the double to Cano, but both runs were charged to John Lackey, who will receive a no-decision. The hit was Cano’s fourth of the game.
Lackey was charged with four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. He struck out three and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 82 pitches (59 strikes).
Lackey really didn’t want to come out of this game. Chances are he’s even more upset now that his 10th win has gone out the window.
9:24 p.m., 4-4: Big players come through in big spots.
Robinson Cano showed why he’ll become a rich, rich man this offseason by hammering a game-tying double in the seventh inning.
Craig Breslow struck out Curtis Granderson upon entering with runners at the corners and one out. Granderson failed to check his swing on a pitch down and away.
Things went south from there. Breslow walked Alex Rodriguez to load the bases, and Cano smoked a double into the right-center field gap to tie the ballgame.
Brandon Workman now takes over with runners at second and third and two outs.
9:13 p.m., Red Sox 4-2: John Lackey didn’t want to come out, but John Farrell has taken the ball.
Brendan Ryan and Chris Stewart struck back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh inning. Craig Breslow now takes over with runners at the corners.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-2: Hiroki Kuroda enjoyed another quick inning in what has been an important turnaround for the right-hander.
Kuroda has retired 12 of the last 13 batters he’s faced. It comes after he struggled mightily out of the gate. The Yankees desperately needed Kuroda to provide innings because of their banged-up bullpen, and while it hasn’t been pretty, he has kept them in this game.
Will Middlebrooks flied out before Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia bounced a pair of ground balls down to Lyle Overbay in the 1-2-3 sixth.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-2: The Yankees struck for a run in the sixth inning.
Robinson Cano ripped a ball to right field with one out. Shane Victorino raced back, but the ball sailed over his head and to the wall. Cano waltzed into second with a double.
Cano moved up to third base when Alfonso Soriano singled. Lyle Overbay threatened to send a ball into the right-center field gap, but Victorino made a very nice running catch. Cano scored from third base.
Soriano found himself in scoring position via a stolen base. Eduardo Nunez couldn’t plate Soriano, though. He lifted a lazy fly ball to center field for the third out.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-1: Somehow, Hiroki Kuroda has made it through five innings.
Kuroda gave up four runs on four hits in the first inning, and was then up against the ropes in the second inning. He has since settled down, though, and he enjoyed another scoreless frame in the fifth.
The only man to reach base in the fifth inning — for either team — was Daniel Nava. Nava singled into left-center field with one out.
Kuroda rebounded from the one-out knock to get Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fly out to right field and Stephen Drew to ground to short.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-1: John Lackey completed a perfect fifth inning.
The only Yankees noise in the fifth came when Curtis Granderson lifted a fly ball down the right field line. It sailed above the foul pole — which is always difficult for an umpire to gauge — but it was also just to the right of it for a foul ball.
Granderson ended up flying out to center field to end the inning.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Hiroki Kuroda has been teetering on the edge all game, but he worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning.
Kuroda retired Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz in order. Pedroia and Victorino each put the ball on the ground, and Ortiz flied out to right field.
Ortiz actually sent Ichiro Suzuki back toward the warning track. Ichiro grabbed it on the edge of the dirt for a loud out, though.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Dustin Pedroia just showed how to perfectly make up for a mistake.
Robinson Cano led off the fourth inning with a single, and Lyle Overbay hit a ground ball to second base with one out. It probably would have been tough for the Red Sox to turn two, but Pedroia simply didn’t make the play. Therefore, Overbay reached safely while Cano moved up to second base.
Cano took third when Eduardo Nunez flied out to center field. Pedroia made sure his error didn’t cost the Red Sox, though. Ichiro Suzuki yanked a ground ball to the right side and Pedroia made a diving stop before tossing to first to end the inning.
End 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked a double off the wall in left-center field, but Hiroki Kuroda managed to make it through another inning.
Salty led off with his 36th double of the season, and tagged up and moved to third base when Stephen Drew sent a deep fly ball in the same direction.
Kuroda struck out Will Middlebrooks swinging and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to lift a harmless fly ball to center field to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-1: Brendan Ryan might have the fastest home run trot in the league.
Ryan, playing in just his third game since being acquired by the Yankees, smacked a home run into the first row of seats above the Green Monster. He then stormed around the bases.
Ryan’s homer led off the third inning. John Lackey recorded three straight outs after it.
Curtis Granderson tried to bunt his way on with one out, and Lackey made a diving stop off the mound before tossing to first. Dustin Pedroia might have been able to play it if it got by Lackey, but who doesn’t like to see a pitcher get dirty from time to time?
Lackey finished the inning by dropping in a 3-2 cutter to strike out Alex Rodriguez for the second time.
End 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: The Red Sox threatened for more in the second inning, but ultimately came up empty-handed.
The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the. In other words, Hiroki Kuroda was up against the ropes. Kuroda managed to escape the jam, though, and he’ll live to see another inning.
Dustin Pedroia singled into left field for his second hit of the game, and Shane Victorino got drilled on the elbow. Victorino has been hit an AL-high 17 times this season. That’s a lot, but it still pales in comparison to Shin-Soo Choo, who has been plunked an MLB-high 25 times in 2013.
The Yankees opted to put David Ortiz aboard with first base open after a wild pitch allowed both Pedroia and Victorino to advance a station.
Kuroda avoided any damage by first striking out Mike Carp. Carp looked at a pitch that caught the inside corner, although he’ll beg to differ.
Daniel Nava nearly added to Boston’s lead with a line drive to left field, but it hung up just long enough for Alfonso Soriano to make a shoe-string catch.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: John Lackey’s second inning was quick and painless.
Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez both put the ball on the ground. Overbay grounded to second base and Nunez bounced back to the mound.
Ichiro Suzuki lifted a fly ball down the left field line that threatened to drop in. Daniel Nava ranged over and made a basket catch before bracing himself at the wall.
End 1st, Red Sox 4-0: Hiroki Kuroda didn’t have his best stuff in the first inning.
The Red Sox jumped all over Kuroda for four runs on four hits in the opening frame.
Dustin Pedroia, who is batting leadoff for the fourth straight game, singled into left field to lead things off. David Ortiz followed with a double into the left field corner that sent Pedroia from first to third.
Mike Carp knocked in the game’s first run with a ground ball down to first base. Lyle Overbay took it to the bag himself while Pedroia crossed the plate.
The Sox were far from done.
Daniel Nava singled into left field to drive in Ortiz from third base. Then, after a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew planted a two-run double off the Green Monster.
Kuroda needed 33 pitches to get through the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey struck out two in the first inning to start up his night.
Alex Rodriguez was the first strikeout victim. A-Rod, who is batting second, stepped up to the usual chorus of boos with one out in the first inning. He worked his way into a full count, but he couldn’t catch up to a 3-2 fastball and Lackey won the battle.
The Red Sox’ infield moved into a shift with Robinson Cano at the plate, and it worked against them. Cano slapped a bunt down the third base line. It rolled past the bag in fair territory and then over near the wall. By the time Stephen Drew tracked it down, Cano was on his way for second base with a unique double.
Lackey made sure Cano’s heads-up play didn’t hurt the Red Sox too badly. The right-hander struck out Alfonso Soriano to keep New York scoreless.
7:10 p.m: John Lackey’s first pitch misses for a ball. We’re underway.
7:08 p.m.: The Red Sox just paid tribute to the victims of 9/11. Cool gesture by the Sox, who were on the road for the anniversary of the tragedy.
7:04 p.m.: It was pouring at Fenway a couple of hours ago. Now, it’s looking like a nice night. New England weather.
6:49 p.m.: The Red Sox announced Thursday that a statue of Carl Yastrzemski will be placed outside of Fenway Park. John Farrell said before Friday’s game that he has only come in contact with Yaz during spring training, but that the Hall of Famer receives a lot of respect and deservedly so.
For more on Yaz’s amazing Red Sox career, check out BostonFanFavorites.com.
6:46 p.m.: The Red Sox have enjoyed good health, for the most part, this season. The same can’t be said for the Yankees.
Joe Girardi has had to deal with injuries to his group all season, and the news just keeps getting worse.
The Yankees’ bullpen is banged up, Derek Jeter’s season is over and it now looks like Brett Gardner will miss the rest of the year as well. Gardner is dealing with a rib cage/oblique injury, and Girardi said before Friday’s game that the outfielder will likely be out “a while.”
Oh yeah, and Friday’s starter, Hiroki Kuroda, “looks gassed,” according to one scout.
6:04 p.m.: The PawSox will play Game 3 of their International League Governors’ Cup Finals at Pawtucket on Friday. The series is tied 1-1.
Once the PawSox’ season finally ends — and they hope it ends with their second straight Governors’ Cup title — the Red Sox will likely add a couple of more minor leaguers to their major league mix. John Farrell said that the Red Sox will announce who exactly that is once Pawtucket wraps up its series.
5:50 p.m.: While the Red Sox went 5-2 on their recent road trip, it’s always good for a team to get back in front of its home crowd.
The Red Sox are an AL-best 47-25 (.653) at home this season. They’ve won 13 of their last 18 home contests, and they’ve turned Fenway Park back into a difficult place to play for opponents.
5:25 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury resumed physical (non-baseball) activities Friday. John Farrell said that Ellsbury is out of the boot and did some work in the pool. There is still no timetable for the outfielder’s return.
5:05 p.m.: Mike Carp will be inserted into Boston’s lineup Friday. He’ll bat cleanup, as David Ortiz continues to hit third with Dustin Pedroia sliding up into the leadoff spot in Jacoby Ellsbury’s absence.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (89-59)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
John Lackey, RHP (9-12, 3.48 ERA)
Curtis Granderson, CF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Chris Stewart, C
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (11-10, 2.99 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox will begin their final homestand of the regular season Friday.
Boston has 14 games left on its 2013 schedule. Nine will take place at the friendly confines of Fenway Park, and the slate starts up with three contests against the Yankees. John Lackey and Hiroki Kuroda will square off in the series opener Friday.
The Red Sox took two of three from New York last weekend behind a major offensive power surge. The Yankees have been playing good baseball, though, and they’re very much in the thick of the AL wild card race. These weekend games are extremely important for the Bronx Bombers.
The Red Sox went 5-2 on their recent seven-game road trip. It ended with a loss to the Rays on Thursday, but Boston can’t complain too much about the overall results. The Red Sox hold an 8 1/2-game lead over the Rays entering Friday’s action, and their magic number sits at eight.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here.
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