YANKEES SWEEP SOX (11:18, END 9, 0-0)
How will the Red Sox come back from these six games? They play Detroit at Fenway Park in less than 20 hours.
In the ninth, J.D. Drew singled to lead off the inning. Lowell lined out to right. Varitek struck out swinging after fouling off several pitches. David Ortiz pinch hit Nick Green, setting up a potentially dramatic moment given the weekend’s background. Ortiz walked, and Chirs Woodward pinch ran for him. Ellsbury ended the game with a weak roller to first.
The Red Sox were swept by the Yankees and lost their sixth straight, a nosedive that has left them tied with the Texas Rangers for the wild card and 6 1/2 games behind the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Over the past week, the Red Sox lost a 13-inning game and a 15-inning game. Tonight’s may have been just as painful. The Red Sox ended a 31-inning scoreless drought in the eighth inning when Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer that dramatically gave the Sox a 2-1 lead. After Daniel Bard retired the first two hitters he faced in the eighth, Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira each blasted massive home runs to give the Yankees the lead for good.
TO THE NINTH (11:05, END 8, 5-2 YANKS)
Cabrera grounded to Green to end the carnage. The Yankees ripped out the guts of the Red Sox, scoring four runs off of Bard and Okajima after Bard retired the inning’s first two batters. And now “Enter Sandman” is playing. The sum of the past six days, if the Sox can’t score three runs (that’s a safe bet, no?), will be crushing.
THERE WENT THE PENNANT? (11:02, BOT 8, 5-2 YANKS)
Swisher squibbed a single through the middle, just past the dive of Nick Green. Both runs scored, and the Yankees have a three-run lead with Mariano Rivera throwing in the bullpen. This is a surreal and painful scene for the Red Sox. And now Cano singled into right. Two on, six straight base runners have reached with two outs.
YANKEES RALLYING (10:57, BOT 8, 3-2 YANKS)
Suddenly, this game may be getting away from the Red Sox. Posada doubled into the rightfield corner, putting men on second and third for Swisher.
OKAJIMA REPLACES BARD (10:55, BOT 8, 3-2 YANKS)
Bard lost it, walking A-Rod on five pitches. Terry Francona summoned Hideki Okajima to pitch to Jorge Posada.
BACK-TO-BACK (10:51, BOT 8, 3-2 YANKS)
Bard got the first two outs, then fell apart. Damon smoked a 1-0low, 98-mph fastball into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center, erasing the Sox’ short-lived lead. Teixeira followed by launching a home into the upper deck in right. Yankee Stadium exploded. What a devastating loss this would be.
BARD COMES ON (10:44, MID 8, 2-1 SOX)
Daniel Bard will protect the Red Sox’ lead, facing pinch hitter Hideki Matsui, Jeter, and Damon. The Sox ended their inning when Bay grounded into a double play.
MARTINEZ IN THE CLUTCH (10:41, MID 8, 2-1 SOX)
The Sox were two innings away from being shutout for three straight games for the first time since April 27-29, 1981. Now they’re six outs from beating the Yankees and snapping a five-game skid, all thanks to one swing from Victory Martinez. He pounded a one-out, two-run home run over the leftfield fence, down the line.
Ellsbury struck out looking at a pitch on the outside corner. Pedroia ripped a single into left-center. Then came Martinez.
LESTER THROUGH SEVEN (10:30, END 7, 1-0 YANKS)
Lester stranded Posada at third after a couple nice plays by Youkilis at third. The Red Sox will attempt a comeback against lefthander Phil Coke. Ellsbury will lead off the inning.
RODRIGUEZ GOES DEEP (10:22, BOT 7, 1-0 YANKS)
Juist like that, the Sox trail again. Alex Rodriguez crushed a 95-mile-per-hour fastball over the centerfield fence, the 95th pitch Lester threw tonight. Rodriguez got a curtain call, and the Sox got a deficit. Jorge Posada followed with a single. The bullpen is getting busy. That was Lester’s first home run allowed in 63 2/3 innings.
THAT WAS QUICK (10:17, MID 7, 0-0)
Pettitte keeps matching Lester. Lowell led off with a liner to right that Nick Swisher snared while making an unnecessary tumble. Varitek grounded to third, and Green flied to right. That’s nine straight for Pettitte as well, and 31 straight innings for the Sox without a run. They saw eight pitches that inning.
LESTER IN COMMAND (10:13, END 6, 0-0)
Lester is simply dominating the Yankees, getting stronger as the game moves along. He sat them down in order, striking out Johnny Damon and Teixeira to end the inning. He’s used 92 pitches and retired nine straight.
GROUNDHOG DAY (10:02, MID 6, 0-0)
Youkilis struck out swinging at a slider in the dirt. Bay struck out looking. Remember when he was an RBI machine? He’s driven in six runs in the past 33 games. Drew just got under a ball and drove it to the warning track in center, where Cabrera made the catch. That makes 30 innings without a run, the longest since 1974, when the Sox went 34 innings without a run.
LESTER ON THE MONEY (9:54, END 5, 0-0)
Some good news: In the past 18 innings against Red Sox starting pitches, the Yankees have scored two runs. Lester rolled through the fifth, striking out Cabrera for his fifth K of the night. He’s allowed three hits, all singles. Are the Red Sox about to waste another gem? Their 29 straight scoreless innings is their longest such streak since 1983.
ANOTHER CHANCE, ANOTHER ZERO (9:47, TOP 5, 0-0)
The Sox got a runner in scoring position again, but again they put up a zero. Green nearly beheaded Pettitte with a line-drive single up the middle; Pettitte fell on his back while escaping with his life. Ellsbury moved him to second with a bunt. The Sox had a man on second with one out and two of their best hitters, Pedroia, and Victor Martinez, awaiting. Pedroia popped up, and Martinez tapped a 3-2 pitch to second. That makes 29 straight innings without a run.
MOVING ALONG (9:38, END 4, 0-0)
Mark Teixeira led off with a single to right and moved to third, but Lester continued oppressing the Yankees. No runs through four.
WELL STRUCK, BUT OH, WELL (9:28, MID 4, 0-0)
Varitek rocked a pitch to left, one of the harder hit balls the Sox have this weekend. Johnny Damon hesistated, took a step back, and jumped to catch the ball on a line. The Sox left the bases loaded, and they haven’t scored in 28 innings.
Lester is going strong. He’s allowed two hits and struck out four.
SOX GET TO THIRD (9:24, MID 4, 0-0)
The slumping Sox have a chance to break through. Jason Bay flared a single to center, and Drew rolled one up the middle, to the right of second base. Lowell walked when Andy Petitte threw ball four about 55 feet. Varitek will bat with the bases juiced.
ANOTHER ZERO (9:05, BOT 3, 0-0)
Make it 27 straight innings. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play after Nick Green singled to lead off the inning. Green’s opposite-field liner snapped an 0-for-17 slump. Dustin Pedroia flied out to end the inning.
Lester struck out Melky Cabrera to start the second, but Jerry Hairston followed with a single, putting a man on first for Jeter.
MORE OF THE SAME (8:51, BOT 2, 0-0)
The Red Sox have extended their scoreless streak to 26 innings and their no-runners-making-third-base streak to 25. The got a small rally going in the second, when J.D. Drew singled and Mike Lowell walked with two outs. But Jason Varitek struck out to end the inning. Jon Lester has been strong. Derek Jeter to lead off the game, and Lester has retired the next six batters, including a strike out of Robinson Cano.