Final, Yankees 7-4: Shawn Kelley closed the door on Boston in the ninth inning. The Yankees rode five home runs to a 7-4 victory.
Brian McCann homered twice, and Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson each smacked one home run as the Yankees’ offense jumped all over John Lackey and Co.
Six Yankees players — McCann, Beltran, Soriano, Johnson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Yangervis Solarte — had two hits Saturday. The Yankees produced 14 hits as a team.
Lackey gave up six earned runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He surrendered four home runs while suffering the loss. Burke Badenhop surrendered New York’s other homer.
Felix Doubront and Ivan Nova will square off in Sunday’s nationally televised series finale. Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
End 8th, Yankees 7-4: The Red Sox will have their work cut out for them in the ninth inning.
Kelly Johnson blasted a solo homer to straightaway center field off Burke Badenhop in the eighth inning to increase the Yankees’ lead. New York has smacked five home runs in the game.
Dean Anna doubled in the eighth inning on a play that involved a review. Anna appeared to come off the bag while diving head-first into second base, yet the call on the field was (somehow) upheld.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava are due up for Boston in the ninth inning.
Mid 8th, Yankees 6-4: Adam Warren cruised through the eighth inning to pull the Yankees to within three outs of a victory.
Xander Bogaerts and Jonathan Herrera sandwiched an A.J. Pierzynski groundout with a pair of strikeouts.
End 7th, Yankees 6-4: The Yankees threatened to increase their lead against a couple of southpaws in the seventh inning.
Brett Gardner led off with a single and took second base when Brian Roberts dropped down a sacrifice bunt. John Farrell then turned to Andrew Miller to replace Craig Breslow in a lefty-for-lefty swap.
Miller walked Jacoby Ellsbury with one out but rebounded to retire Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. Taming Beltran and McCann has been no easy task this afternoon.
Mid 7th, Yankees 6-4: Control issues plagued the Yankees in the seventh inning.
Hiroki Kuroda walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava in the seventh, leading to a pitching change with David Ortiz coming up. Joe Girardi called upon left-hander Matt Thornton, who, of course, finished his 2013 season with the Red Sox.
Thornton struck out Ortiz on a borderline pitch located at the top of the strike zone. Big Papi was furious and voiced his displeasure with home plate umpire John Tumpane.
The Red Sox kept the pressure on, though, as Bradley and Nava executed a double steal with two outs. Mike Napoli then got grazed by a pitch, loading the bases for Mike Carp.
Carp delivered a base hit into left-center field. Both Bradley and Nava scored while Napoli slid safely into third base. Third base coach Brian Butterfield was very animated while telling Napoli to get down and even hit the ground himself.
While aggressive baserunning helped the Red Sox cut the Yankees’ lead in half, it also stymied Boston’s seventh-inning rally. Carp was thrown out trying to steal second base with Xander Bogaerts batting.
End 6th, Yankees 6-2: Brian McCann decided going deep against the Red Sox was so much fun he’d do it again in the sixth inning.
McCann, who homered in the fourth inning, blasted his second home run of the contest in the sixth. It was a two-run shot, as Carlos Beltran led off the inning with a double. McCann’s second homer traveled into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center field.
Alfonso Soriano and Yangervis Solarte added singles in the inning, which led to John Lackey getting the hook. Craig Breslow took over and kept Boston’s deficit at four runs by striking out Dean Anna.
McCann’s multihomer game is the 10th of his career. His last two-homer game came on May 28, 2013 at Toronto.
Mid 6th, Yankees 4-2: Hiroki Kuroda struck out two in a scoreless sixth inning.
Xander Bogaerts reached with one out when Alfonso Soriano dropped a lazy fly ball in right field. Kuroda navigated around the error rather easily.
Mike Carp and A.J. Pierzynski struck out in the sixth. Pierzynski, who has two hits, waved at a pitch off the outside corner.
End 5th, Yankees 4-2: John Lackey settled down in the fifth inning.
Lackey, who surrendered two home runs in the fourth inning, worked a 1-2-3 fifth. He capped the inning by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury.
Lackey actually threw one pitch high and tight to Ellsbury. There obviously was no intent, but it drew some oohs and aahs from the Yankee Stadium crowd.
Lackey put Ellsbury away with a good-looking cutter off the inside black.
Mid 5th, Yankees 4-2: The Red Sox spoiled a leadoff double from Dustin Pedroia in the fifth inning.
Pedroia snapped an 0-for-12 stretch with a line drive into the right-center field gap. The Red Sox stranded Pedey at third base.
Pedroia took third when Daniel Nava grounded to second base. Neither David Ortiz nor Mike Napoli could drive in the run, though.
Ortiz popped to short and Napoli flied to center.
End 4th, Yankees 4-2: There’s definitely some pop in this Yankees lineup.
The Bronx Bombers blasted back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, giving them three long balls in the contest.
Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano led off the fourth with a pair of solo blasts into the right field seats. It was the first time the Yankees have hit back-to-back homers this season — and New York’s first time doing so since June 6, 2013 (Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira).
Carlos Beltran, of course, hit the Yankees’ other home run back in the first inning.
Mid 4th, 2-2: A.J. Pierzynski loves to swing the bat.
Pierzynski, who never is one to shy away from getting in his licks, hammered a first-pitch homer in the second inning. He jumped on the second pitch he saw in the fourth inning for a two-out single.
Jonathan Herrera followed Pierzynski’s single with a walk, setting up runners at first and second for Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley flied out to left field to end the inning.
End 3rd, 2-2: Jacoby Ellsbury has been aboard twice.
Ellsbury, who collected a bunt single in his first at-bat, singled into center field in the third inning. He then swiped second base.
Ellsbury’s two-out effort wasn’t enough, though, as John Lackey struck out Carlos Beltran to end the inning. Beltran, of course, drove in New York’s two runs in the first inning with a two-run homer.
Mid 3rd, 2-2: The Red Sox couldn’t get anything going in the third inning.
Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli were handled rather easily by Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda struck out Napoli to cap the 1-2-3 inning. Napoli chased a slider off the outside corner after fouling off three straight pitches.
End 2nd, 2-2: Kelly Johnson’s well-placed single was the Yankees’ only offense in the second inning.
Johnson hit a ground ball to the left side with one out. Given where the Red Sox’s defenders were stationed, Johnson easily reached as Xander Bogaerts struggled to backhand the ball on the outfield grass.
John Lackey rebounded from there. Yangervis Solarte grounded to second base and Dean Anna popped to short.
Mid 2nd, 2-2: A.J. Pierzynski answered Carlos Beltran with a two-run bomb of his own.
Xander Bogaerts led off the second inning with a soft, broken-bat liner that dropped over Brian Roberts’ head and into shallow right field.
Pierzynski, as he typically does, went up hacking. The veteran catcher turned on the first pitch he saw from Hiroki Kuroda and sent it into the second deck at Yankee Stadium.
Kuroda bounced back to retire Jonathan Herrera, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia, but the damage certainly was done.
End 1st, Yankees 2-0: A bang-bang play at first base helped pave the way for two runs.
John Lackey made quick work of the first two hitters he faced. Brett Gardner and Brian Roberts both grounded out.
Jacoby Ellsbury, as he did so often with Boston, used his legs to make an impact. Ellsbury dropped a bunt down the third base line. Jonathan Herrera nearly threw out the speedy outfielder, but Ellsbury beat the throw by a hair.
Ellsbury’s bunt single — which really could have been called either way — was huge, as Carlos Beltran then went deep to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Lackey jumped ahead 0-2 before Beltran crushed a fastball into the right field seats.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Hiroki Kuroda escaped some trouble in the first inning.
Daniel Nava singled into left-center field with one out after Dustin Pedroia grounded to short to lead off the game. Nava sat out Friday’s game but homered in Thursday’s series opener, so perhaps he’s turning a corner offensively.
David Ortiz followed with a single into right field, but that’s where the Red Sox’s threat sputtered.
Mike Napoli popped out to catcher Brian McCann in foul territory, and Mike Carp grounded to first baseman Kelly Johnson, who flipped to Kuroda for the inning-ending out.
1:08 p.m.: Hiroki Kuroda delivers a first-pitch strike. Let’s play a little hardball.
12:50 p.m.: The Red Sox will turn to Edward Mujica if a save situation arises Saturday. Koji Uehara again is unavailable because of shoulder tightness.
Uehara began feeling discomfort in his throwing shoulder before Friday’s game. The right-hander thus was unavailable Friday, prompting manager John Farrell to call upon Mujica in the ninth inning with the Red Sox clinging to a 4-2 lead.
Farrell said before Saturday’s game the Red Sox still are gathering information on Uehara’s ailment, and it’s unclear at this point whether a disabled list stint will be necessary.
12:35 p.m.: The Red Sox (again) have shuffled their lineup.
Dustin Pedroia will become Boston’s fourth leadoff hitter in 12 games Saturday. The Red Sox haven’t gotten much production out of the top spot, and manager John Farrell also wants to see Pedroia go back to his old offensive approach, hence the move.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (5-6)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Daniel Nava, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Mike Carp, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jonathan Herrera, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
John Lackey, RHP (2-0, 1.38 ERA)
New York Yankees (5-6)
Brett Gardner, LF
Brian Roberts, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carlos Beltran, DH
Brian McCann, C
Alfonso Soriano, RF
Kelly Johnson, 1B
Yangervis Solarte, 3B
Dean Anna, SS
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (1-1, 2.92 ERA)
10 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will play day baseball Saturday.
John Lackey and Hiroki Kuroda will square off in a matinee showdown at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox rebounded from a 4-1 loss in Thursday’s series opener to earn a 4-2 win Friday night. Jon Lester lasted into the seventh inning Friday while guiding Boston to victory.
The Red Sox’s offense has struggled in the early going this season, but the bats broke out in a big way in the sixth inning Friday. The sixth inning really marked the offense’s only sign of life — Boston had just two hits outside the sixth — but it was enough, as the Sox scored four runs on four hits to take control. Jonny Gomes and Grady Sizemore both went deep.
Lackey was strong in his first two starts of the season. The right-hander gave up just two earned runs on six hits over six innings in his first start against the Baltimore Orioles. He surrendered just one unearned run on five hits over seven innings while securing another victory in his second start against the Texas Rangers.
Kuroda, meanwhile, has been good for the Yankees. The 39-year-old went at least six innings and gave up two runs in each of his first two starts of the season. He’s already showing why New York made it a priority to re-sign him over the offseason.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Be sure to stick around with NESN.com throughout the day for updates.
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