The New York Yankees took the first two of the three-game set as they shellacked Boston Saturday, 10-3, following Friday's 1-0 affair.
The game was close most of the way, but the Yankees blew it open with a four-run sixth inning and the bullpen, including newly acquired lefty Damaso Marte, combined to clinch the win and bring the team within a game of Boston and 2.5 games behind first-place Tampa Bay.
In the Yanks' lineup today was newly acquired outfielder Xavier Nady. He started in left and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. To make room for him and Marte, both obtained from Pittsburgh Friday, the Yankees optioned Brett Gardner to Triple-A and designated LaTroy Hawkins for assignment.
The Red Sox started off quickly, grabbing two runs in the bottom of the first with a David Ortiz single that scored Dustin Pedroia and a Manny Ramirez fielder's choice that scored Kevin Youkilis. Boston was up by two immediately, but the Yankees cut the lead in half in the third with a Bobby Abreu single that scored Jose Molina.
The next inning for the Yankees started out with a Robinson Cano home run. It was Cano's ninth of the season, and he finished 3-for-4 on the day with three runs batted in. Also in the fourth, Melky Cabrera scored on a Johnny Damon single that put the Yankees up, 3-2.
The sixth ultimately ended the game for Boston starter Tim Wakefield. First, Johnny Damon grounded into a fielder's choice that scoer Xavier Nady. Next, a Jeter single scored Melky Cabrera. Then a Bobby Abreu double scored Damon. Wakefield was taken out, having gone 5.1 innings and letting up six runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking four.
The damage was not done, though, as Boston brought in Justin Masterson. Masterson didn't record an out as he let up an A-Rod single that brought home Jeter. Masterson was then relieved by Javier Lopez, who got the final out.
Andy Pettitte finished his quality start in the sixth, but not after a JD Drew home run. It was Drew's 19th of the season. Pettitte went six innings, giving up three runs (one earned), striking out seven and walking three. He picked up win No. 12.
Jose Veras relieved him, but only recorded one out and let two on. Damaso Marte came in to face the lefty Ortiz, whom he struck out. Then Edwar Ramirez came in to shut down Ramirez and end the inning.
The Yankees were still not done. They struck again in the eighth off Craig Hansen. Hansen was in with the bases loaded and walked Giambi to bring in Molina, making it 8-3. Then, after the Giambi walk, Robinson Cano doubled to score A-Rod and Bobby Abreu to cap off a three-run eighth and that sealed the game for the Yankees, 10-3.
The two squads play at 8 p.m tomorrow on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.