The Yankees took the first game of this three-game set against the Red Sox to whittle Boston's lead to a half game in the American League East before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,773.
CC Sabathia (18-7), winless in four previous starts against the Red Sox, went six innings and allowed two runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out 10.
John Lackey (12-10) went seven innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out three. Watch his postgame comments in the video above.
New York pitchers gave up 13 hits but struck out 13 as Boston stranded 16 runners in a 3-hour-59-minute game that saw Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild (seventh) and manager Joe Girardi (ninth inning) ejected by third base umpire Mark Wegner.
Rothschild was run from the game when he protested John Lackey's hitting catcher Francisco Cervelli, who hit a solo homer off Lackey in the fifth inning. Girardi was ejected when closer Mariano Rivera plunked Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the left wrist in the bottom of the ninth.
Top of 9th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
Aceves holds the line with a 1-2-3 inning. The Red Sox, down to their last three out, will face Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
Bottom of 8th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
Nothin' doing for the Sox in the eighth. Rafael Soriano relieved Boone Logan and, after issuing a lead-off walk to Jacoby Ellsbury, retired the next three batters he faced, getting Scutaro to line out sharply to left (nice running catch by Brett Gardner), and Gonzalez and Pedroia to fly to center.
Alfredo Aceves has emerged from the bullpen to relieve Albers and will pitch the top of the ninth.
Top of 8th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
The Yankees were poised to break this one wide open. They loaded the bases on relievers Franklin Morales (a pair of singles) and Matt Albers (hit batsmen), but wound up getting stymied when Albers induced Cervelli to ground out to short.
Bottom of 7th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
With Sabathia out of the game, the Sox went to work on the Yankees bullpen, loading the bases against relievers Corey Wade (walk, single) then Boone Logan (single), before squandered a huge scoring opportunity by stranding all three baserunners -- David Ortiz (walk), Jed Lowrie (soft fly to center), and Carl Crawford (single to left) -- when Logan struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia (swinging at three sliders) and Darnell McDonald (swinging at a 94 fastball).
Franklin Morales has emerged from the bullpen to relieve John Lackey (7 innings, 5 runs, 4 earned, 7 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 home run), who threw 119 pitches (75 strikes).
Top of 7th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2
Things got chippy when Lackey hit lead-off hitter Francisco Cervelli, who had homered off Lackey in the fifth. The Yankees catcher squared off with Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a testy exchange. Benches cleared, but no punches thrown, just harsh words. Third base umpire Mark Wegner tossed Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Once order was restored, Cervelli went to second on a passed ball, and took third on Brett Gardner's bunt single down the line to third. Cervelli scored when Derek Jeter grounded into a 6,6-3 double play. Lackey then struck out Granderson to end the inning.
Sabathia was done after throwing 128 pitches. He departed after six innings (2 runs, 10 hits, 2 walsk, 10 strikeouts, 1 homer, 1 hit batsmen) and turned it over to Corey Wade. Seven of Sabathia's 10 strikeouts came against Boston's 3-4-5 hitters.
Bottom of 6th: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
Sabathia cruised after giving up a one-out single to Jacoby Ellsbury (to center), by getting Marco Scutaro to fly to center and Gonzalez (0-for-4) to ground to short.
Top of 6th: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
Uneventful inning for Lackey, who gave up one hit, a single to left by Nick Swisher with one out.
Bottom of 5th: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
The Red Sox left baserunners on second (Jed Lowrie, double) and third (David Ortiz, single) after Sabathia induced Carl Crawford to line out to second and struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia for his 10th strikeout of the game.
Top of 5th: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
Francisco Cervelli gives the Bombers a two-run buffer with his lead-off solo homer against Lackey, who retires the next two batters and walks Curtis Granderson before getting Mark Teixeira to pop to short. End of inning. Lackey has thrown 96 pitches (60 strikes) through five innings.
Bottom of 4th: Yankees 3, Red Sox 2
Sabathia faltered in the fourth when he gave up a pair of runs in the frame. The first came on a one-out solo home run to Carl Crawford, who hit his 10th homer of the season on a first-pitch offering to Sabathia to right. Sabathia then gave up singles to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Darnell McDonald before striking out Jacoby Ellsbury. Scutaro came to the plate and atoned for his earlier gaffe on the basepaths with an RBI double to left that scored Saltalamacchia from second, pulling the Red Sox within 3-2. But Sabathia got out of the jam with two out and men in scoring position by striking out Gonzalez for third time in the game, all three times on a slider.
Top of 4th: Yankees 3, Red Sox 0
The Yankees tacked on a pair of runs on two hits off Lackey, who paid the price for issuing a lead-off walk to Curtis Granderson when Robinson Cano plated him with an RBI double to left center. Eric Chavez recorded his second RBI single to center of the game to push across Cano to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead.
Bottom of 3d: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
Marco Scutaro giveth and he taketh away. After hitting a lead-off single to right, Scutaro got thrown out at second by Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher trying to stretch his hit into a double. It was an ill-advised move the robbed the Red Sox of a base runner. Sabathia locked in and struck out Adrian Gonzalez (on three pitches), allowed a single to left to Dustin Pedroia, then struck out David Ortiz (on five pitches) to get out of the inning. Through three scoreless innings, Sabathia has allowed three hits and two walks while ringing up six strikeouts (two each against Gonzalez and Ortiz). He's thrown 63 pitches (38 for strikes).
Top of 3d: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
Sox will come back to the plate after Lackey retires the Yanks in 1-2-3 fashion. Through three innings of work, Lackey has allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out two batters. He has thrown 48 pitches (32 for strikes).
Bottom of 2d: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
The Red Sox failed to capitalize on a precious scoring opportunity when Sabathia, who gave up a single to center to Jed Lowrie and a walk to Carl Crawford, loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Darnell McDonald. Jacoby Ellsbury came to the plate and stranded the baserunners when he grounded to second to end the inning and the threat.
Top of 2d: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
After issuing a one-out walk to Robinson Cano, Lackey gave up back-to-back singles to Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez, the latter scoring Cano from second on a seeing-eye ground ball up the middle that eluded the diving Dustin Pedroia to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Lackey got out of the inning when he induced DH Jorge Posada to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
Bottom of 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
Jacoby Ellsbury seemed to be the victim of some Yankee retribution when CC Sabathia hit the Red Sox center fielder on the back of his right arm. But no warning was issued by Capuano. Ellsbury got wiped out by Marco Scutaro's grounder to first. Sabathia struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.
Top of 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
After retiring Brett Gardner (pop-up to short) and Derek Jeter (ground out to short), John Lackey appeared to hit Curtis Granderson on the hand with a fastball up and in. Home plate umpire Ed Rapuano ruled the pitch hit Granderson's bat, not his hand, and denied the Yankees center fielder from taking his base, which brought Yankees manager Joe Girardi out of the bullpen. Little good it did, however, as Lackey struck out Granderson to end the inning.
Greetings from Fenway Park where the Red Sox (82-51) will host the Yankees (80-52) in the opener of three-game set between AL East division rivals. John Lackey, who is undefeated in two starts against the Yankees this season, will start for the Red Sox while CC Sabathia, winless in four starts against the Sox this season, will start for the Yankees.
Please feel free to post your comments here.