Pap shuts the door (10:49, 4-3 Sox final)
Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth to sew it up. He got an outstanding play from Nick Green, who hawked a ball up the middle of he infield spun and threw to first in one motion to take a leadoff hit from Derek Jeter. Then after Johnny Damon flew out, Mark Teixeira shot a liner that Kevin Youkilis snared at first to secure the comeback win.
Sox rally in 8th (10:32, End 8, 4-3 Sox)
Down two runs to start the inning, the Sox strung together four singles and a walk as a part of a four-run, no-out rally to go ahead, 4-3.
Nick Green led the inning off with a single. Dustin Pedroia was relentless in the next at bat, forcing CC Sabathia to throw 10 pitches before surrendering a walk. JD Drew smacked an RBI single to center field that scored Nick Green to make it 3-2, and knock CC Sabathia out of the game.
With Pedroia at second and Drew at first, Kevin Youkilis stroked a ball to left field that looked like it could have scored Pedroia, but he held up at third.
The next at-bat Jason Bay punched a ball to left field allowing Pedroia to score the tying run while keeping the bases loaded. Mike Lowell then shot a fly ball to center and Drew came charging to the plate on the sacrifice to make it 4-3.
All four earned runs were charged to Sabathia, who had been lights out up to through seven innings. His pitch count climbed to 123, the most he’s thrown all year.
Rescue Squad chips in (10:10, Mid 8, 3-1 Yankees)
Takashi Saito’s two strikeouts were huge in keeping the Sox within striking distance, but Rocco Baldelli made a huge play in center, chasing down a Melky Cabrera gapper to his left, laying out for it and coming up with the diving grab.
Sabathia still dealing (9:57, End 7, 3-1 Yankees)
Aside from a David Ortiz single (he’s reached base three times with two hits), Sabathia cut quickly through the Sox again, getting a pair of pop-ups out of Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek and fanning Rocco Baldelli.
A-Rod puts Yanks ahead (9:50, Mid 7, 3-1 Yankees)
As soon as the bases cleared, the two runs scored and Alex Rodriguez strolled into second, a couple of New York reporters waited for it.
“The Big Game Clap”
Apparently it’s another in the list of nuances to tease A-Rod about. He had a good reason to break it out though, having given the Yankees a two-run lead with his bases-clearing double.
Melky Cabrera led the inning off with a single and Francisco Cervelli made it count, smacking a double to left field to score Cabrera and tie the game at 1-all. Rodriguez would then plate Cervelli and Johnny Damon (on with a walk), with a rip to left-center, ending Manny Delcarmen’s night out of the pen. Takashi Saito took the ball from Delcarmen and got Robinson Cano to sky out to deep left.
Still tight (9:24, End 6, 1-0 Sox)
CC Sabathia tossed another quick inning, getting JD Drew and Kevin Youkilis to sky out then watching Derek Jeter fire a BB to first to throw out Jason Bay, denying the Sox any insurance.
Penny: Six quality innings (9:15, Mid 6, 1-0 Sox)
Brad Penny’s 117th pitch had Hideki Matsui shaking his head. With the count full and Robinson Cano on second as the potential tying run, Penny placed a splitter low and away, so close that Matsui couldn’t bring himself to swing at it. The strikeout was Penny’s fifth. He’s tossed six shutout innings. Manny Delcarmen was throwing in the bullpen.
Sabathia dealing (End 5, 1-0, Sox)
A Nick Green double-play ball erased Rocco Baldelli’s leadoff rip to the leftfield gap. Dustin Pedroia did a double-take at the 3-2 pitch that CC Sabathia sneaked by him for the third out, turning back and discussing it with home plate umpire James Hoye. It was Sabathia’s fifth strikeout of the night.
Penny pinching (8:48, Mid 5, 1-0 Sox)
Brad Penny’s in cruise control, throwing five shutout innings. He finally sent Derek Jeter back to the dugout hitless, getting him to bounce out to second. Likewise for Johnny Damon. And a long fly ball to center retired Mark Teixeira to end the inning.
Damon lets one slip away (8:43, End 4, 1-0 Sox)
With two outs and David Ortiz at the plate, CC Sabathia was working on retiring nine straight batters since giving up the solo shot to Ortiz in the second inning. He got Ortiz to pop up high and deep to left and Johnny Damon seemed to be under it. When it came time to clinch it, it bounced out of his glove for a fairly ugly error. The mistake didn’t cost the Yankees a thing, though, as Sabathia (clocking 97 on the Fenway gun), got Jason Varitek to groundout to third.
30-yard dashes (8:30, Mid 4, 1-0 Sox)
Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera beat out a pair of two-out infield singles, and Francisco Cervelli nearly made it a third, striking a hard hit ball to third where Mike Lowell snared it and raced Matsui to the bag for the final out.
1-2-3 (8:22, End 3, 1-0 Sox)
It was only the second three-up, three-down inning for the Yankees this series and C.C. Sabathia had it working.
He mowed through the top of the Red Sox order, getting Dustin Pedroia to pop up to short, blowing a fastball by J.D. Drew, and catching Kevin Youkilis staring at a slider to sit the Sox down as fast as possible.
K-Rod (8:12, Mid 3, 1-0 Sox)
Derek Jeter smacked his second single of the night into left (he came into the game 0-for-8 in the series).
Brad Penny wouldn’t allow the Yankees to take advantage of the leadoff hit though.
He fanned Johnny Damon in the next at-bat, then got Mark Teixeira to sky out to center, and capped the inning by blowing a fastball by Alex Rodriguez.
Hot Sauce (8:03, End 2, 1-0 Sox)
Leading off the inning, David Ortiz blasted a solo shot to opposite field over the Monster, giving him three home runs in his past five games.
With Ortiz seemingly heating up, the homer is another excuse to spread this story around.
Particularly this Ortiz quote:
“I put hot sauce on pretty much everything,” Ortiz says, aiming a bottle of his mild Original into a bowl of mondongo (beef tripe soup) before taking a spoonful. “But I like mild hot, not burning hot. Not crazy hot.”
“It’s not about being a tough guy,” he says. “I’m telling you right now, number four is pretty dang hot.” He’s referring to Grand Slam. “I do not think a human being should try something hotter than that.”
Caught out there again (7:56, Mid 2, 0-0)
After leading off the inning with a double, Nick Swisher got caught up on the base paths for a second straight night, this time it was on a deep fly ball off the bat of Francisco Cervelli.
The ball looked like it had enough distance to hit the Monster, but Jason Bay got under it and relayed it to second to catch Swisher fleeing back.
The play killed a potential Yankees threat.
Hideki Matsui had worked a walk out of Penny, whose 20 free passes is the fewest allowed by any of the four Sox starters with 12 starts, to make it first-and-second with no outs.
Melky Cabrera thought he had drawn another walk out of Penny, breaking for first after letting a 3-2 pitch glide by, low and away, but home plate umpire James Hoye rung him up for the first out of the inning.
With his pitch count climbing in the early going, Swisher’s base-running mistake was a blessing for Brad Penny.
Scoreless first (7:39, End 1, 0-0)
J.D. Drew put himself in scoring position with one out with a Wall double (exactly half of his 46 hits have been for extra bases), and Kevin Youkilis walked to made it first-and-second, but Jason Bay grounded into a fielder’s choice (Alex Rodriguez tagged drew between second and third) and Mike Lowell flew out to right field to end the first.
Beanball early (7:17, Mid 1, 0-0)
Flash back to the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 7-0 blowout and recall Yankees reliever Jose Veras pegging Jason Bay with pitch.
Whether or not it was intentional, Brad Penny got even for the Sox, pumping a two-out 97-mph fastball between the “1” and the “3” on the back of Alex Rodriguez’s jersey.
Both sides were warned. Terry Francona came out to defend his pitcher.
The hit batsmen made it first-and-third with Derek Jeter on at the other corner thanks two a leadoff single (he also stole his 12th base of the year).
Robinson Cano did his best to find a pitch to drive, fouling off five 0-2 pitches before flying out to left to end the inning.