The Boston Red Sox received another reminder Thursday that this is 2014 and not 2013.
Koji Uehara crashed and burned in the Red Sox’s series finale against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He surrendered two home runs in the ninth inning as Boston suffered a 5-4, walk-off loss.
The defeat isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things given the Red Sox’s place in the standings. It obviously was a bigger victory for the Yankees, who continue to fight for an American League playoff spot. But Uehara’s implosion continued a startling trend that could force Boston to consider shutting down the closer for the remainder of the season.
Let’s go over Thursday’s finale in the Bronx.
— Chris Capuano must have done something to tick off David Ortiz before leaving town.
The former Red Sox reliever and current Yankees starter surrendered two home runs to Big Papi as Boston built a 3-0 lead. Ortiz’s first home run was a lined shot in the first inning that left the yard in about two seconds flat. His second homer was a towering blast to right field that landed well beyond the fence.
Ortiz now has 32 home runs in his age 38 season. His second home run Thursday was No. 463 of his career, moving him ahead of Jose Canseco and Adam Dunn for 34th on Major League Baseball’s all-time list.
“Guys really take it serious when they’re facing me. It’s just like that, you know? Good pitchers are always going to give good hitters a hard time,” Ortiz told reporters after the game. “I’ve got to make my adjustments and try not to miss much. Pitchers know. They’re not stupid. They know what they’re capable of doing and they try to work around you.”
Ortiz’s 46 career multihomer games are the second-most in MLB since 2003, trailing only Albert Pujols’ 47.
— Brandon Workman avoided his ninth straight loss despite not factoring into the decision.
Workman allowed three earned runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out five, walked two and threw 96 pitches (65 strikes). Three of his strikeouts came on curveballs, which was his best pitch.
Workman will enter his next start still searching for his first win since June 10 because of Uehara’s blown save.
— Derek Jeter drilled a two-run double in the Yankees’ three-run third inning. The Red Sox’s outfield was playing extremely shallow and Jeter poked it over Mookie Betts’ head in center field.
— Brock Holt had an excellent fifth inning.
Holt lifted a home run to right field in the top of the inning. It probably would have been a routine flyout in any other ballpark, but it carried enough at Yankee Stadium to leave the yard.
Holt then made an excellent sliding grab in shallow center field in the bottom of the inning to rob Jacoby Ellsbury of a hit.
— Will Middlebrooks’ struggles continued. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and now has struck out in 19 of his last 41 at-bats (46 percent).
— Jeter received a standing ovation before his eighth-inning at-bat. This marked his final game against the Red Sox in the Bronx.
— Mark Teixeira led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to tie the game. Chase Headley homered with one out to win it. Both homers came on splitters from Uehara that hung over the plate.
Uehara has a 19.29 ERA (10 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings) over his last six appearances, during which he has three blown saves and three losses.