BOSTON — There will be no weekend sweep.
The Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 5-3 on Saturday night at Fenway Park. The teams have split the first two games of their three-game series, creating an interesting Sunday showdown.
The Yankees snapped the Red Sox’s season-long, four-game winning streak in Friday’s series opener, so give credit to Boston for turning the page and bouncing back in its quest to make up ground in the American League East. The Sox enter Sunday 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the division.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox didn’t give away many at-bats and showed plenty of fight after losing both the series opener and their No. 1 starter, Clay Buchholz, to the disabled list. Boston also rebounded from an early 1-0 deficit and fended off New York’s late rally in the eighth inning.
There’s been a lot more life in and around Fenway this weekend. Winning some games will do that.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Red Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Alejandro De Aza singled with one out and moved to second base when Ryan Hanigan hit a chopper over the mound for the second out. Mookie Betts then tripled home De Aza with a line drive to right field that nearly corkscrewed Chris Young into the ground. It gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.
Xander Bogaerts added another run moments later with an RBI single. Bogaerts brushed himself off after nearly being drilled by a fastball inside and poked a ground ball to the right side. It was an impressive at-bat for the 22-year-old, who has had plenty of those of late.
ON THE BUMP
— Eduardo Rodriguez continues to give the Red Sox a chance more often than not.
Rodriguez allowed two runs on five hits and one walk over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two — his lowest total outside of striking out one in a nine-run stinker June 14 — and surrendered two homers but still pitched well enough to earn a win.
Alex Rodriguez and Jacoby Ellsbury — two players who elicit loud reactions from Red Sox fans for far different reasons — went deep against Rodriguez.
— Junichi Tazawa recorded two outs in a scoreless seventh inning. He allowed a run in the eighth.
Chase Headley reached in the seventh on a dribbler in front of the plate that Hanigan scooped and fired past Mike Napoli. (It was ruled a single.) Tazawa rebounded to punch out pinch-hitter Brian McCann.
Brett Gardner doubled home Ellsbury in the eighth. Tazawa retired A-Rod to end the threat.
— Koji Uehara worked a scoreless ninth inning for his 22nd save of the season. He overcame a one-out double.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Hanley Ramirez deposited an opposite-field, two-run homer into the Red Sox’s bullpen in the fifth inning. It marked Ramirez’s team-high 19th homer of 2015.
Ramirez also had a nice piece of hitting in the second inning when he went the other way for a single into right field with David Ortiz stationed at second base. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval then popped out and Napoli grounded into an inning-ending double play.
— Ortiz reached base three times (double, single, walk).
— De Aza, ever the spark plug this season, made something happen in the third inning.
De Aza led off with a single into center field. He then took off for second base and ended up on third base when catcher John Ryan Murphy’s throw to second traveled into center field. De Aza scored Boston’s first run when Hanigan grounded out.
De Aza, as mentioned, also singled and scored in the seventh.
— Betts sure is fun to watch. He raised his average to .278 with his 2-for-4 effort.
— Napoli went 0-for-4. His struggles remain in full effect.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Betts already has six this season.
Mookie Wilson’s career high for triples was 10. Betts moving up the career Mookie lists quickly.—
Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 12, 2015
The Red Sox will look to ride into the All-Star break on a high note. Wade Miley will face Nathan Eovaldi in Sunday’s rubber match, which is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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