Game Three (Rain Shortened): Boston 3 Yanks 0
NEW YORK — An epic lightning flash transformed the Bronx evening into broad daylight for a split second, and on both benches at Yankee Stadium, an accompanying thunderclap prompted players to instinctively leap with fear for their safety.
After three rain delays, that was the moment that the Yankees realized they probably wouldn’t be coming back onto the field Sunday night. The final score stands as it did in the home half of the sixth inning, crediting the Red Sox with a 3-0 victory.
“That was the loudest thing I’ve ever seen; the brightest thing,” catcher Austin Romine said. “It was daytime for a second. It kind of scared us all. I think [Brett] Gardner jumped in my lap. We took off and we were out of there.”
The loss was New York’s seventh in eight games, coming on an evening in which Jose Iglesias and David Ortiz homered off Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees managed just two hits against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
Ichiro Suzuki and Romine had the only hits for the Yanks, who were unable to move a runner past first base and fell to third place and three games back of their rivals. The Yankees have been held to one run or less in five of their last seven contests.
“I think that’s part of baseball,” designated hitter Travis Hafner said. “You’ll have ups and downs throughout the year, but there’s just too much talent here and it’s just a matter of time before things get rolling again.”
Play was suspended for good at 11:25 p.m. ET with the Yankees about to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, one half inning after Ortiz launched a tape-measure solo blast into the right-field bleachers off Kuroda, flipping his bat at home plate.
There were earlier stoppages as well, including a phantom 45-minute delay before the first pitch that had no rain. The umpiring crew also halted play at 10:44 p.m. and resumed 37 minutes later, only to call for the tarpaulin again four minutes later after the completion of the top of the sixth.
“We were going to try to go as quick as we could,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s why we went and played those two outs [in the sixth], but we got hit pretty quick.”
Romine said that the Yankees couldn’t complain about any of the delays.
“I’m not a weatherman, so I’m not going to try and predict anything,” Romine said. “We’re just trying to get the game in. We started when we started, and unfortunately the rain came down hard.”
The Yankees were blanked through five innings by Buchholz, who made his first start since May 22 and held New York to just two singles and a walk in a 71-pitch outing……….Read More
Box Score and Highlights:
Game Two: Red Sox 11 Yanks 1
NEW YORK — The fingers waggled from the Yankees’ dugout and Phil Hughes obediently followed instructions on the mound, tossing four wide ones to David Ortiz to load the bases and take his chances with Mike Napoli digging in.
Hughes lost that third-inning gamble as Napoli blasted his fifth career grand slam to right field, and it turned into a rout from there as the Red Sox trounced the Yankees, 11-1, on Saturday night, handing New York its sixth loss in seven games.
“Tonight really was just one pitch I’d like to have back,” Hughes said. “I feel like if I can find a way to get Napoli out there, that’s really a momentum shifter.”
On their way to producing a season-high 18 hits, the Red Sox scored all five of their runs off Hughes in that third inning, with Napoli’s ninth home run of the season serving as the big blow.
“It was a good feeling,” Napoli said. “It’s my job to be his protection, and something like that happens, it feels good to come through. I like protecting him and maybe giving managers another thought of doing that.”
Manager Joe Girardi said that he intentionally walked Ortiz to load the bases with one out because he thought Hughes had a better shot of striking out Napoli than Ortiz, but Hughes couldn’t sneak a 94-mph fastball past the slugger with a 2-2 count.
“I don’t want to start putting people on base, but you’re looking at trying to shut down an inning,” Girardi said. “When you get in that situation, I’m going to do what I think is the best thing to do, and I thought the best thing to do was to try and get Napoli. It didn’t work.”
Girardi further defended his move, pointing out that Napoli had struck out much more (78 times in 207 at-bats) than Ortiz (just 16 times in 138 at-bats) entering play on Saturday. Hughes didn’t argue with the logic, also noting that Ortiz had hit him hard coming into Saturday’s action (9-for-20, two homers).
“Ortiz has had a lot of success off me in the past, so I think with a base open it’s the obvious move,” said Hughes, who has now allowed at least one homer in his last five starts. “Whether it’s the third inning or the ninth inning, every run counts.”
Mike Carp also had a run-scoring single off Hughes, who lasted 4 1/3 innings and permitted seven hits with seven strikeouts. After two solid outings on the road, it was another rough outing in the Bronx for Hughes, who was chased in the first inning by Seattle during a seven-run nightmare on May 15.
“It wasn’t his best stuff, but I thought he had good enough stuff to go deeper in the ballgame than he did,” catcher Chris Stewart said. “Unfortunately, that big hit by Napoli set the tone and he couldn’t really escape that.”
Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront looked like he might be headed for an early exit when he burned through 49 pitches in the first two innings, but the Yankees left four men on through those frames and gave Doubront time to settle down.
The Yanks went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position against Doubront, scoring just one run on a sacrifice fly by Stewart, who then left with symptoms of dehydration after the fourth inning.
Doubront scattered six hits with three walks and six strikeouts, winning for the first time since April 27 against the Astros, a span of four starts…….Read More
Box Score and Highlights:
Game One: Yanks 4 Red Sox 1
NEW YORK — CC Sabathia said that he needed to help the Yankees out of their troubled patch and get the team back onto a winning track. His teammates appreciated that, but they’re also thrilled that the big left-hander is pitching like an ace again.
Sabathia may have found the answers to his lingering problems in a sharp 10-strikeout performance, winning for the first time in more than a month as the Yankees snapped their five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
“I always feel like it’s my responsibility when I’m out there to give this team a chance to win — go out and pitch well enough to try to win,” Sabathia said. “With us having a tough week, getting swept by the Mets, you want to go out and have a good game. I was lucky enough to do that tonight.”
The left-hander had not won since April 27, a span of five starts, and he said that his biggest struggles were coming in the departments of command and aggressiveness.
One start after lamenting that he was no longer helping the team, Sabathia was happy to showcase his good stuff on a steamy night in the Bronx, outpitching Boston’s Jon Lester by completing 7 1/3 innings with a power fastball and his best slider of the season.
“CC was really good. When you have two aces out there, you just want to give them a few runs,” said Mark Teixeira, who was activated from the disabled list on Friday. “Once we got that lead, you could just tell he wasn’t going to give it up. He was upset at himself for giving up one run. That’s how good he was tonight. He was pretty dominant.”
Sabathia’s 10 whiffs tied his season high set on May 14 against the Mariners, and marked the first time as a Yankee that he had recorded 10 strikeouts without issuing a walk.
“You don’t really expect anything less from him,” Lester said. “I know he hasn’t really pitched well — or probably up to his standards — the past couple, so you knew coming in with us being here he was going to step it up and throw a good game, and he did that tonight. He threw the hell out of the ball tonight.”
While Sabathia credited his improved command, his velocity also seemed to jump a tick, as manager Joe Girardi noted that the hurler seemed to sit at 92-94 mph instead of the 89-91 mph radar gun readings they’d been seeing.
“I felt a little better, but I couldn’t really tell,” Sabathia said. “I definitely felt like I got a couple swings and misses on my fastball and a couple guys were late, so it was definitely coming out a little better.”
So did the Yankees’ lineup, which at least looked more like the one envisioned this spring. Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored in his first game of the season, and Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-4 with an RBI single — coincidentally, playing in his first big league game since Sabathia’s last victory……Read More
Box Score and Highlights: