Francisco Cervelli’s catching error has cost the New York Yankees a chance to win tonight.
The Boston Red Sox outscored the Yankees 6-3 in Yankee Stadium to kick off a crucial four-game series which can greatly influence the AL East pennant race.
Both teams exchanged home runs in the first inning and with two outs, designated hitter David Ortiz belted a solo shot off Javier Vazquez's 3-2 pitch (his 24th of the year).
Mark Teixeira gave the Yankees a temporary 2-1 lead. He also hit his 24th of the season which scored shortstop Derek Jeter who has led off with a line-drive single.
The Red Sox scored three unearned runs in the second inning which the Yankees could have easily avoided.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre started the inning with a double to left field, followed by J.D. Drew’s popped out at second base.
First baseman Mark Lowell lifted a fly ball up near the home-plate which was supposed to be an easy catch. Instead, Yankees catcher Cervelli dropped it on the ground. Beltre advanced at third and Lowell was safe at first on the play.
After Vazquez struck out Ryan Kalish, he gave up back-to-back walks. The first one to Jed Lowrie loaded the bases and the second to Jacoby Ellsbury scored Beltre.
Marco Scutaro then lined a two-run double to left field to make the score 4-2. Instead of a scoreless third inning, the Red Sox came up with a two-run lead which they never relinquished.
The Yankees cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth with third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s 88th RBI of the year that drove Jeter home.
In the sixth inning, the Red Sox rookie left-fielder Ryan Kalish added a couple of insurance runs for his team with his first ever big league home run.
Vazquez (9-8) needed to throw 39 pitches in the second inning to get out of the jam and the Red Sox made him work throughout the game. After Kalish’s dinger and walking Lowrie, he was pulled out of the game. His pitch count already reached 109.
On the other hand, it was a more “relaxing” night for starter Clay Buchholz (12-5). He went deep into the game throwing minimal 97 pitches to pick up the victory. He left the game in the eighth after Robinson Cano’s one-out double. He finished the night giving up three runs with nine hits but did not allow a walk.
The Red Sox sent their closer Jonathan Papelbon to protect their lead in the ninth. He only gave up a walk to Jeter and earned his 27th save of the year retiring Nick Swisher for the third out.
New York is holding on the first position in the AL East Standings but third-place Boston is only five games behind. The rivalry continues as they will meet again tomorrow afternoon; John Lackey (10-6, 4.48) will pitch for the Red Sox and CC Sabathia (13-5, 3.19) for the Yankees.
Note: Derek Jeter hit his 2873rd career hit in the first inning which ties Babe Ruth’s number. He is now ranking 39th on the all-time list.
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