Yankees-Red Sox: Joba Chamberlain Ends Slump and Guides a 9-5 Victory

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst ISeptember 26, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25:  Starting pitcher Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox on September 25, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.   (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The last time Joba Chamberlain won a game in 2009 was back on Aug. 6 against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

On Friday night, Chamberlain was stepping on the mound not only looking to guide the Yankees to a late September victory against that same Red Sox team he last won against, but Joba was stepping on the mound looking to keep himself in the rotation for the playoffs.

After nine starts of no decisions and losses, Joba finally was able to make a quality, and winning, start for the Yankees.

Chamberlain pitched six strong innings, allowed five hits and three runs, walked one and struck out five.

The last time Joba even made six innings was on Aug. 11 against the Blue Jays, a game he got a no-decision in.

Chamberlain had a lot of help from his offense on Friday night.

In the bottom of the first, Ale Rodriguez hit an RBI single off Jon Lester to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead.

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In the bottom of the third, A-Rod gave Joba more breathing room in the game by drilling a two-run home run off Lester to put the Yankees up 3-0. The home run was A-Rod's 28th of the season.

Melky Cabrera had the bases loaded and hit a ball right off Lester's leg and as a result, Cabrera had an RBI infield single and made the score 4-0.

Unfortunately for Boston, the shot off Lester's leg forced him out of the game early after lasting three innings.

X-Rays came back negative for Lester and it was ruled he had a bruised quadricep. That type of nagging injury is not good news for Boston so close to the playoffs.

Derek Jeter's fielder's choice groundout scored a run and made it 5-0.

After a long lay-off, in the top of the fourth, Victor Martinez was able to get Boston on the board with a solo home run, cutting the lead to 5-1.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jorge Posada's RBI single made it 6-1 Yankees.

In the top of the sixth, David Ortiz hit a two-run home run off Joba to cut it to 6-3. The Red Sox were trying to climb back in, but kept getting pushed back.

In the bottom of the sixth, A-Rod hit an RBI double to make it 7-3. Posada's RBI single made it 8-3. Mark Teixeira's RBI single made it 9-3. The Yankees offense was pouring it on the Red Sox bullpen.

Kevin Youkilis got an RBI single to make it 9-4 and Ortiz's fielder's choice made it 9-5, but that's where the scoring would stop for Boston as Damaso Marte, Phil Hughes, and Phil Coke took care of the rest of the eighth and ninth innings and the Yankees won 9-5.

The Yankees won their 98th game of the season and are now six-and-a-half games ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East.

With the win over Boston, the Yankees magic number to clinch the AL East is now down to three.

They have to feel somewhat good to see Joba snap out of his losing streak and slump to pitch a decent game late in September. It was also good for Yankee fans to see Joba last six innings and pick up a victory, his ninth of the year.

A-Rod had an excellent game offensively, going three-for-three with the home run and four RBI. A-Rod also took advantage of Jason Varitek's poor throwing arm and got three steals.

The Yankees recorded six total steals off Varitek with three from A-Rod, two from Jeter and one from Robinson Cano.

The Yankees are now 7-1 against the Red Sox since August began, a major turnaround from the 0-8 start they had against Boston.

Tomorrow on FOX, the Yankees will send up CC Sabathia on the mound looking for his 19th victory of the season. Sabathia will square off against Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was just activated from the disabled list after three months.