YANKEES WIN (11:01, END 9, 13-6 YANKS)
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in J.D. Drew and Pedroia drove in Kotchman with two outs in the ninth, but the runs were purely cosmetic.
The Yankees beat the Red Sox for the first time this season, thrashing John Smoltz for eight earned runs in less than four innings. The performance brings into question Smoltz’s future with the Red Sox. Jed Lowrie left the game with an irritated left forearm, leaving the Red Sox shorthanded at shortstop. David Ortiz went 0 for 5, extending his hitless streak to 16 at-bats. After Mark Melancon drilled Dustin Pedroia in the eighth inning, we could be in store for fireworks tomorrow. The Sox left 15 runners on base.
GETTING INTERESTING (10:40, MID 8, 13-4 YANKS)
A Yankees reliever Mark Melancon made this series a little more intruiging. Dustin Pedroia led off the inning. Melancon threw one pitch a few feet over Pedroia’s head. Later on in the at-bat, Melancon threw a pitch that hit Pedroia high in the front shoulder. Pedroia slammed down his bat, glared at the mound, and, if my lip reading is right, said, “That’s [bleeping] twice.” The umpires warned both benches, and Terry Francona came out to speak with the umpires.
The Sox didn’t score, and Ortiz grounded out to end the inning, extending his hitless streak to 16 at-bats, his worst stretch of the season. Takashi Saito replaced Traber.
MT GOES DEEP (10:23, BOT 7, 13-4 YANKS)
You have to give credit to Traber. Maybe not for execution, but he’s manning up and taking one for the bullpen. Teixeira just blasted an opposite field home run to lead off the seventh.
A note for next inning — Ortiz will come to bat riding an 0-for-15 streak. That matches his worst draught of the season, even including his horrendous first couple months.
DIRTY DOZEN (10:06, END 6, 12-4 YANKS)
Jeter slapped a single past Mike Lowell’s backhanded dive, scoring the Yankees’ 12th run tonight. Billy Traber pitched the entire inning, and no one is warming in the Red Sox bullpen. Traber deserves some props for wearing this one. He’s thrown 55 pitches, and here’s guessing he’ll throw many, many more.
SOX SCORELESS (9:55, MID 6, 11-4 YANKS)
After Phil Coke replaced Robertson with two outs and two on, Coke induced a pop up to short from Ortiz, who’s 0 for 4. Martinez struck out; he had walked three times.
ROBERTSON REPLACES CHAMBERLAIN (9:34, END 5, 11-4 YANKS)
Righthander David Robertson is on. Chamerlain is in line for a pretty cheap win.
YANKS PILE ON (9:32, BOT 5, 11-4 YANKS)
Matsui ripped a double into the leftfield scoring, scoring a pair of runs. Matsui went to third on Green’s wayward relay home.
An interesting note: Smoltz has remained in the Red Sox dugout. Usually, a starting watches the rest of the game from the clubhouse once he’s pulled.
FIST-PUMPING JOBA (9:23, MID 5, 9-4 YANKS)
Chamberlain got himself out of a tough spot by striking out Kotchman and then blowing away Green with a high fastball, leaving the bases loaded. On his way off the mound, Chamberlain pumped his fist and yelled, as he is wont to do.
LOWELL PLATES ONE (9:21, TOP 5, 9-4 YANKS)
The Sox aren’t going to quit. Lowell singled into leftfield to score Martinez. Here’s the problem: Say the Red Sox go nuts and score four more this inning. Can their worn bullpen hold down the game for five more innings? Kotchman’s up, bags still drunk.
SOX LOAD ‘EM UP (9:18, TOP 5, 9-3 YANKS)
Chamberlain is giving a free clinic titled How Not To Pitch With A Three Run Lead. He walked Martinez, Youkilis, and Drew with one out, then started Mike Lowell with two balls. It’s 2-1 now.
AT LAST, IT’S OVER (9:10, END 4, 9-3 YANKS)
After 34 minutes, the bottom of the fourth inning ended when Cabrera popped up to the middle of the diamond. And what a disaster that inning was. Look for Traber to wear one tonight to save the bullpen.
ANOTHER HIT (9:05, BOT 4, 9-3 YANKS)
Swisher continued the Yankees’ onslaught with a hard single to center, the Yankees’ eighth hit this inning. Here comes Cabrera.
Smoltz’s ERA is now 8.32. It’s more than fair to wonder if we’ve seen the last of him, at least as a starter.
THE ROUT IS ON (9:00, BOT 4, 9-3 YANKS)
Posada blew the roof of Yankee Stadium with a deep home run to center. He drilled a 1-0 pitch, clearing the bases. Cano followed with a single to left. This is getting ugly.
LOWRIE UPDATE (8:58, BOT 4, 6-3 YANKS)
Lowrie left the game because he irritated his left forearm on a swing. Lowrie had surgery on his left wrist during the season, which is he has missed most of the year.
Also, Traber did a good job, etting Matsui to bounce a 2-2 pitch to Kotchman. He had to back up and play a high hop, and then he whipped a strong throw to second. Green almost nabbed Matsui to end the inning. Instead, the Yanks scored another run. Smoltz gets that run.
TEX RIPS SMOLTZ, ON COMES TRABER (8:54, BOT 4, 5-3 YANKS)
In Smoltz’s long career, how many innings have been more painful than this one? Teixeira doubled, a rocket off the rightfield wall. He walked Rodriguez intentionally, loading the bases with one out for Matsui. Out came from Terry Francona. Smoltz gave him the ball and walked off the mound. When he wiped his forehead, he shielded vacant eyes.
OK, now you’re going to see Billy Traber make his Red Sox debut. The bases are loaded and there’s one out. He’ll face Matsui. Matsui is 0 for 3 against Traber in his career.
YANKS BATTER SMOLTZ (8:44, BOT 4, 5-3 YANKS)
Smoltz walked Swisher, the 1,000th free pass he has issued in his career. It seems like he’s allowed about 1,000 hits this season. Cabrera walloped a homer to right, and there was nothing cheap about it. John Farrell came out for a chat. The Stadium is about to come unglued. Jeter is up.
YANKS STRIKE BACK (8:40, BOT 4, 3-2 SOX)
The Yankees keep the action coming. Posada doubled into the corner in right to lead off, and Cano followed with a single up the box. This time, Posada scored without incident. The Yankees have six hits in three-plus innings. There are no outs.
GREEN REPLACES LOWRIE (8:32, MID 4, 3-1 SOX)
Nick Green has replaced Lowrie at shortstop. No word yet on why. Lowrie was .148 coming into today, and he has struck out twice.
KOTCHMAN COMES THROUGH (8:28, TOP 4, 3-1)
The Stadium is dead silent after Casey Kotchman, making his appearance in the rivalry and his first start as a Red Sox, hit a line-drive home run to right, just over the wall. It was a well-hit ball, but honestly, it was the crappiest home run I’ve ever seen. But, hey, it counts just the same. Mike Lowell was on base after singling to shallow left — Jeter made the stop and one of his trademark jump throws, and Lowell barely beat it out.
SMOLTZ ESCAPES (8:22, END 3, 1-1)
The crowd was ready to blow that inning while the Yankees tattoed Smoltz, but he pulled it together and struck out Hideki Matsui. Smoltz’s problem this season has been one bad inning. Maybe he just got out of it with allowing only the one run.
DAMON GOES DEEP (8:17, BOT 3, 1-1)
Johnny Damon showed Smoltz first hand why this park is perfect for his swing. He laced a fastball into the first row over the rightfield fence, his 20th homer of the year. Teixeira followed with an opposite-field double off the base of the wall in left-center. Those were two very hard hit balls. A-Rod followed with a massive fly ball to the warning track. Smoltz is looking vulnerable.
ORTIZ KILLS A RALLY (8:15, MID 3, 1-0 SOX)
The Red Sox got something going after Pedroia’s homer when Chamberlain walked Victor Martinez and Youkilis. Ortiz, though, chopped to Cabrera at second, who flipped to Jeter. Youkilis delivered a clinical take-out slide, but Jeter hung in and made the play. J.D. flied out to end the inning, straning Martinez at third.
PEDROIA GOES THE OTHER WAY (8:02, TOP 3, 1-0 SOX)
Another indictment of Yankee Stadium’s coziness: Pedroia hit an opposite-field home run, which, according to press box consensus, was the first one of his career. He drilled an 0-2 pitch from Chamberlain into the first row, just out of Swisher’s reach. That’s a double and a homer for Pedroia so far.
POSADA DOESN’T LET IT SLIDE (7:58, END 2, 0-0)
The Red Sox are still tied because of an incredibly strange base running play by Jorge Posada. With one out and Posada on second, Nick Swisher cracked a single into right-center. Jacoby Ellsbury charged and fired the ball into Pedroia. Posada chugged home, and it seemed he’d be safe by a comfortable margin. Victor Martinez stood on home plate as Pedroia’s throw came home. Posada slowed down, ran into Martinez, grabbed the facemask of his catching helmet, and allowed himself to be tagged out. He would have been easily safe with a slide. The culprit may have been Melky Cabrera, who watched the play unfold without giving the slide signal. Crazy. Cabrera lined to Pedroia to end the inning.
SMOLTZ THROUGH ONE (7:31, END 1, 0-0)
The though of Smoltz in Yankee was a frightening one, but he cruised through the first inning. Smoltz struck out Johnny Damon and, with Mark Teixeira on first, struck out Alex Rodriguez to end the inning.
ORTIZ WELCOME (7:24, BOT 1, 0-0)
Fenway Park crowds have had their chance to boo several Yankees players embroiled in baseball’s performancing-enhancing drugs scandal over the years, and tonigh the Yankee fans received their chance. Predictably, the crowd booed Ortiz loudly. There was little in the way of creativity. One fan held a white placard with a thick, black asterisk. Before he came to bat, the bleachers were chanting, “Pa-Pi Sucks.”
Ortiz flied out to right to end the inning. The Sox could not score off of Joba Chamberlain desptie Dustin Pedroia’s smoked, one-out double. John Smoltz retired Jeter to start the bottom of the first.