Reddick’s hit in 10th tips Yankees
Josh Reddick won the right field job for the Red Sox last month. Now he has a Fenway Park moment he will never forget.
The rookie beat the Yankees with a walkoff single in the 10th inning last night as the Red Sox escaped with a 3-2 victory before a crowd of 38,189.
Reddick had left six runners on base in his previous four at-bats, striking out twice. But he was aggressive with Phil Hughes, shaking off the earlier disappointments.
“I hit it really well,’’ said Reddick, who was chased into right field by a band of joyous teammates. “It was my first walkoff hit in a long time.’’
For Red Sox manager Terry Francona, it was a sign of Reddick’s growing maturity as a hitter.
“The at-bat before, he had swung at a ball that was probably two feet in front of the plate. He reeled it back in, got a strike, and went the other way,’’ Francona said.
Hughes (2-4) gave up a one-out double to right field by David Ortiz before intentionally walking Carl Crawford, who was 9 for 12 in the series. Pinch runner Darnell McDonald scored easily on Reddick’s hit.
“I was sitting on an off-speed first pitch,’’ Reddick said. “He had started David with that and that’s what I was banking on.’’
The Red Sox tied the game in the ninth against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Marco Scutaro led off with his fourth hit of the game, a double off the Wall. He was sacrificed to third by Jacoby Ellsbury and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Dustin Pedroia.
“Scoot with a huge hit, Jacoby getting a nice bunt down, and Pedey with a good at-bat, and we get to keep playing,’’ Francona said.
It was the fifth blown save of the season for Rivera.
“The guy is probably the best closer ever,’’ Scutaro said. “I needed some luck, I guess.’’
Until the ninth inning, the Red Sox had left 10 runners on base, six in scoring position, against Freddy Garcia and four relievers.
Daniel Bard (2-5) pitched a perfect 10th inning to get the victory.
The Red Sox emerged back in first place, a game ahead of the Yankees. Starting tonight in Minnesota, they will play 14 of their next 17 games on the road.
The Red Sox are 10-2 against the Yankees, winning the season series for the first time since 2004 and for just the second time in the last 12 seasons. The teams still have six games to play. The Yankees return to Fenway Park at the end of August with the final series in New York near the end of the season.
The Red Sox loaded the bases to start the bottom of the second inning. Kevin Youkilis walked before Ortiz singled to right and Crawford reached on an infield single.
Using splitters, Garcia struck out Reddick. He then got Jason Varitek on a pop up that Derek Jeter pulled down while fighting off two teammates. That left Varitek hitless in 10 at-bats with the bases loaded this season.
Scutaro did not falter. He worked the count in his favor and grounded a 3-and-1 fastball into right field for a single that scored Youkilis.
But that was it for the Red Sox as Ellsbury flied to left field.
Garcia went five innings, giving up the one run on five hits with three walks and one strikeout. He had allowed nine earned runs in his eight previous innings against the Red Sox this season.
Josh Beckett blanked the Yankees for four innings thanks to excellent defense behind him.
Youkilis stopped a hard shot by Jeter down the third base line in the first inning and threw him out. In the third, Pedroia grabbed a line drive off the bat of Jeter with a runner on second and two outs. That saved a run.
With Curtis Granderson on third base and two outs in the fourth inning, Ellsbury made a nice running catch in the triangle to take extra bases away from Nick Swisher.
The Sox made another good defensive play in the fifth. With one out, Russell Martin hit a ball down the right-field line and went for second base. Reddick dug the ball out quickly and threw out Martin. It was his fourth assist in 43 games.
Two pitches later, Beckett left a cutter high in the strike zone and Yankees rookie Eduardo Nunez belted it over the Monster. It was his fourth home run of the season.
Brett Gardner followed with a hard shot up the middle that struck Beckett squarely in the right leg and ricocheted toward the Red Sox dugout. Gardner had an infield single and Beckett got a quick examination from trainer Mike Reinold. He stayed in and got Jeter on a fly ball to right.
Beckett got in more trouble in the sixth inning. Mark Teixeira singled before Robinson Cano had his first hit of the series, a single to center. Working very deliberately, Beckett got Swisher on a fly ball to center field and struck out Eric Chavez with a curveball that froze him.
With Ortiz and Crawford due up, the Yankees went to lefthander Boone Logan for the bottom of the sixth. That strategy was foiled as Ortiz drew a walk and Crawford singled to left.
Reddick was not bunting and flied to left. Facing righthander Cory Wade, Varitek swung at a 3-and-0 pitch and fouled out to the catcher. Scutaro kept the inning alive with an infield single.
Wade fell behind Ellsbury, 3 and 0. But with the crowd roaring, Ellsbury popped up a full-count changeup to left field to end the inning.
Beckett was done after six innings and 101 pitches. Matt Albers started the seventh inning and got two outs before Gardner homered to right field.
It was Gardner’s first home run in 49 games against the Red Sox.
The Yankees left the bases loaded when Cano grounded out. But the damage had been done.
Rafael Soriano retired the Red Sox in order in the seventh.