Empire Strikes Back: After Eight Straight Losses, Yanks Finally Squash Red Sox
They really had nothing to laugh about up until tonight.
“I mean, that’s a good win for us,” Yankee skipper Joe Girardi told the YES Network after the game. “We got a lot of production out of the bottom of our order, and we played a pretty decent game. We’ve been playing well for two or three months now, and the fourth was an important inning for us.”
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Bronx Bombers exploded for eight runs on eight hits, sending 12 men to the plate.
Melky Cabrera connected for a three-run homer, his 11th long ball of the year, that landed in the second deck of the right-field seats to put the Yankees in the lead.
Later in the frame, Jorge Posada launched a three-run homer to left-center, giving the Yankees a 9-3 lead.
“We are playing a lot better than we did at the beginning of the year—we are doing a lot of things well on the mound and at the plate,” Posada told the media. “Today was different. We had a good approach and it was good to see what we were doing at the plate.”
Posada ended the night 3-for-5 with three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Along with Cabrera and Posada, Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira joined the home-run parade, both smacking solo home runs on the night.
“It’s definitely better to be 1-8 than 0-9,” Damon said to the press. “We went up and played all right. We walked too many guys, but we did OK and we feel fortunate we were able to tack on runs. There were so many other hits.”
Damon was batting .455 with two homers and six RBI over his last five games, and he extended his hitting streak to six games tonight.
The Yankees touched up the Red Sox hard, pounding out their 13 runs on top of 18 hits in the game where every Yankee starter reached base safely.
Coming into this game, Joba Chamberlain had not allowed a run in his last 14 innings pitched, but that ended in the top of the third when Dustin Pedroia smacked a solo home run to get the Red Sox on the board.
Casey Kotchman followed Pedroia’s lead in the top of the fourth, clubbing a two-run homer to right.
Boston was only able to push three more runs across the plate after Kotchman’s homer, receiving RBI from Mike Lowell, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Pedroia.
Despite the seven walks he issued and the four earned runs he gave up, Chamberlain struck out five batters over the five innings he pitched, which was good enough to improve his record to 8-2 on the year.
“We just came in and swung the bats well,” Chamberlain said to the press. “The offense bailed us out, and I knew their game plan from the get-go was to take pitches. You have to take a positive out of this, we won the game. It’s always good to get the first win out of the way.”
With their first victory against the Red Sox in 2009 under their belt, the Yankees will look to keep their four-game winning streak alive in game two of the four-game set tomorrow night.
A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.89 ERA) will take on Boston ace Josh Beckett (13-4, 3.27 ERA)
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