Final: Red Sox 9, Yankees 5
In a topsy-turvy affair, the Red Sox rallied for five runs late in the game after squandering a 4-2 lead to score a 9-5 victory over the Yankees before a Fenway Park crowd of 38,021.
Jacoby Ellsbury highlighted a three-run outburst in the sixth with a two-run homer that broke a 5-5 tie and Jason Varitek tacked on two more runs in the eighth with a two-run homer of his own to put the game out of reach.
Josh Beckett (12-5) picked up the victory, his fourth this season vs. the Yankees, to help the Red Sox extend their lead over New York to a 1.5 games in the American League East standings.
Bottom of 8th: Red Sox 9, Yankees 5
Stick a fork in 'em. The Yankees are done for the night. Jason Varitek saw to that with his two-run homer into the Sox bullpen off Luis Ayala. The Yanks aren't likely to answer against Jonathan Papelbon, who has entered the ninth to close it out.
Top of 8th: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
The beneficiary of some fine defensive glove work (by Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia) Bard mows 'em down in 1-2-3 order.
Bottom of 7th: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
Boone Logan departed the game after striking out David Ortiz, and turned it over to Luis Ayala, who walked Jed Lowrie and then induced Carl Crawford to hit into an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play.
Daniel Bard will pitch for the Sox in the 8th in relief of Beckett (7 innings, 5 runs, 4 earned, 6 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts).
Top of 7th: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
A routine 1-2-3 inning for Beckett, who rang up his eighth strikeout of the game in the frame. He has now thrown 111 pitches (72 strikes), so it's doubtful we'll see him in the eighth. Time to let Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon go to work.
Bottom of 6th: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5
The Sox rallied to regain the lead with three runs on three hits, including a big 2-run homer by Jacoby Ellsbury off reliever Boone Logan that broke a 5-5 tie. The Sox tied it with one out on Jason Varitek's RBI double down the line to left on what appeared to be a delayed swing at a 74 curveball from Hughes. Varitek's hit scored Josh Reddick, who atoned for a fielding error that enabled the Yankees to tie it then take a 5-4 lead in the top of the frame. After getting behind in the count against Hughes, 0-and-2, Reddick drew a walk and scored from first on Varitek's hit. Ellsbury came in to face Logan and cranked a 2-1 pitch into the Monster Seats for his 24th homer of the season (83d and 84th RBI) to give the Sox a two-run lead.
Top of 6th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4
The Yankees came back to wrest the lead away with four runs (one unearned) on two hits, one walk, one hit batsmen and a fielding error by right fielder Josh Reddick that allowed the tying run to come across. Robinson Cano's RBI double to left scored Mark Teixeira (who reached after getting hit on the left foot by a Beckett curveball) to pull within 4-2. After Nick Swisher walked, DH Eric Chavez rifled a double down the line to right. It caromed off the side wall and got past a sliding Reddick, and bounded all the way to the corner in right, allowing Cano to score on the hit and Swisher to score on the fielding error.
Eduardo Nunez's sacrifice fly to center enabled Chavez to score the go-ahead run.
Bottom of 5th: Red Sox 4, Yankees 1
David Ortiz extended his hit streak to 14 games with a two-run homer to straightaway center off Hughes to give the Red Sox some breathing room. Ortiz's 28th homer of the season (good for his 87th and 88th RBI on the year) plated Adrian Gonzalez, whose line drive single to right snapped an 0-for-7 skein at the plate. For the record, Ortiz did not stomp on home plate and clap his hands when he finished his tour of the bases.
Top of 5th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Another strong inning for Beckett, who retired three of the four batters he faced and recorded his seventh strikeout of the game when he got Brett Gardner looking for the second out of the inning.
Bottom of 4th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Hughes got the Sox to go down in 1-2-3 fashion.
Top of 4th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Beckett continued to roll in the third. He struck out the first (Cano) and last (Eduardo Nunez) batter he faced, inducing a fly ball to center and allowing a walk to Eric Chavez in between. Through four innings, Beckett has allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out six. He's thrown 65 pitches (43 strikes).
Bottom of 3d: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
The Red Sox strike back at the Evil Empire with a two-run outburst against Hughes. Marco Scutaro got things going with a lead-off single to left, then went to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's double down the line to left. Dustin Pedroia tied the game with his RBI groundball out to third, which enabled Scutaro to score the equalizer. Then, after Gonzalez flew to center, Hughes issued an intentional walk to David Ortiz. Jed Lowrie made Hughes pay with his RBI stinger down the line to right that scored Ellsbury with the go-ahead run. Carl Crawford struck out swinging at a 93 fastball, leaving two runners on base. That made it an even 20 men left on base in the last 12 innings of baseball for the Red Sox.
Top of 3d: Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
Yankees draw first blood. Eduardo Nunez, who reached on a lead-off double off the wall, and advanced on Francisco Cervelli's ground out to second, wound up scoring on Derek Jeter's shallow fly to center off Beckett that hopped in and out of the outstretched glove of a sliding Jacoby Ellsbury. After issuing a two-out walk to Curtis Granderson, Beckett got out of the inning by inducing Mark Teixeira to ground to second.
Bottom of 2d: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Sox strand another runner. After Carl Crawford belted a towering wall-ball double off Hughes with one out, Josh Reddick flew to center and Jason Varitek struck out, leaving Crawford stranded at second. That makes 18 runners left on base in the last 11 innings for the Red Sox.
Top of 2d: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
Three up, three down for Beckett, who struck out Robinson Cano, got Nick Swisher to ground to second and Eric Chavez to fly to center.
Bottom of 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
The Red Sox stranded Dustin Pedroia at first after second baseman hit a sharply-struck single up the middle to center and watched as Phil Hughes induced Adrian Gonzalez to fly to left and struck out David Ortiz. It was the 17th baserunner the Red Sox have left on base in their last 10 innings.
Top of 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0
Josh Beckett looked strong in the first frame. After giving up a lead-off single to right to Brett Gardner, Beckett retired the next three batters he faced, striking out the last two.
Greetings from Fenway Park where the Red Sox will attempt to avenge Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to the Yankees in the first game of this three-game set against their American League East archrivals. The Red Sox (82-52) will send Josh Beckett (11-5, 2.43 ERA) to the mound in the hopes of preserving their half-game lead in the AL East standings over the Yankees (81-52) , who will send Phil Hughes (4-4, 6.46) to the mound in tonight's game.
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