BOSTON — The New York Yankees will show up with brooms Sunday.
The Red Sox suffered their second consecutive loss to the Yankees on Saturday, meaning New York can hand Boston its first sweep of 2015 with a victory in Sunday’s series finale.
Wade Miley pitched well in the middle game, but the Red Sox’s offense couldn’t cash in on a few chances. Boston’s record now sits at an even .500 (12-12) two days into the month of May.
GAME IN A WORD
Miley jumped back on track and Blake Swihart made a strong first impression in his major league debut. Neither was enough to overcome the Bronx Bombers, though. The struggle is real.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Brett Gardner delivered a two-run single in the fifth inning to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
Miley was one strike away from working out of a jam that was created when Chase Headley and Gregorio Petit started the inning with a double and a bloop single, respectively. The lefty couldn’t put away Gardner, though, as the chippy outfielder drilled a line drive into left field.
The Red Sox applied some pressure in the seventh and eighth innings, but the Yankees’ bullpen managed to preserve the victory.
Dustin Pedroia grounded out to end the seventh inning with Mookie Betts standing on second base.
Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli struck out swinging against Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances, respectively, in the eighth inning after Hanley Ramirez worked a one-out walk.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Pedroia could reach his 2014 home run total any day now.
Pedroia crushed his fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning off Nathan Eovaldi. The second baseman had seven homers all of last season, so yeah, it looks like his hand is just fine.
Pedroia has reached base in each of his last eight games.
— David Ortiz raised his average to .250 with two hits.
Ortiz has been swinging the bat well over the last week after struggling out of the gate.
— Sandoval’s team-leading average is up to .329 after a two-hit effort.
Sandoval briefly was shaken up on a play at third base in the third inning, as Gardner slid right into his leg while trying to extend a double into a triple. It didn’t affect Panda much, apparently, as both of his hits came after that point.
— Mike Napoli went 0-for-4 and left five men on base. He’s hitting .160 to open the season.
— Swihart collected his first major league hit in the fifth inning.
Swihart pulled a ground ball to the right side. The second baseman, Petit, ranged out onto the outfield grass to grab it, but Swihart hustled his way to an infield single.
The 23-year-old catcher also walked in his big league debut, showing excellent plate discipline. He scored from first base on Mookie Betts’ seventh-inning RBI double off the Monster.
ON THE BUMP
— Miley provided his best start of the season.
Miley, who entered with an 8.62 ERA, lasted seven innings, marking the first time in five starts he made it through the sixth. The left-hander even capped his outing with a 1-2-3 seventh.
Miley allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out three, didn’t walk anyone and threw 102 pitches (63 strikes).
It wasn’t a dominant performance, as the Yankees still produced baserunners throughout his seven innings of work, but Miley didn’t allow the game to speed up on him. It’s an especially encouraging sign that he didn’t issue any free passes.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Patience, baby, patience.
After Swihart didn't walk in 1st 11 Gs of '15, one evaluator jokingly asked if he'd walk before July. Swihart walked 6x in next 7 games.—
Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 02, 2015
The Red Sox and Yankees will wrap up their three-game series Sunday night with a nationally televised affair. Joe Kelly is scheduled to face Adam Warren in a game scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images