SOX LOSE AGAIN (7:20, END 9, 3-0 YANKS)
The game ended with Rivera striking out Lowell, one of two Red Sox players with a hit today. CC Sabathia bested Daisuke Matsuzaka in a pitchers duel, allowing only one hit in seven innings. Matsuzaka looked like his old self, stranding 10 base runners before Robinson Cano broke his shutout with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Billy Wagner buried the Red Sox’ chances with his worst outing as a Red Sox, allowing two runs in the seventh inning on a two-out, bases-loaded single by Johnny Damon.
The Sox lost their sixth consecutive game at Yankee Stadium and kept the magic number to clinch the wild card, for now, at three.
MARTINEZ STILL STREAKING (7:14, TOP 9, 3-0 YANKS)
It came down to the wire, but Martinez extended his career-high hitting streak to 25 with a single to right.
ENTER SANDMAN (7:08, END 8, 3-0 YANKS)
Sabathia, Hughes, Rivera. Good day to be Jason Bay.
He got the game off.
Mariano Rivera will pitch the ninth after Daniel Bard relieved Wagner and got out of the eighth.
YANKS PROVIDE INSURANCE (7:04, BOT 8, 3-0 YANKS)
With two outs and the bases loaded, Wagner retired Jeter, but he couldn’t get past Damon. He slapped a single into rightfield, scoring a pair of runs and deepening the Red Sox’ hole.
WAGNER ENTERS (6:43, MID 8, 1-0 YANKS)
Billy Wagner, making his return to New York to a chorus of boos, will pitch the eighth. Chris Woodward is in at shortstop.
SOX CAN’T COME THROUGH IN A PINCH (6:41, MID 8, 1-0 YANKS)
When Sabathia left the game and Hughes, a righty, replaced him, Francona sent in three straight pinch hitters — J.D. Drew for Rocco Baldelli, Casey Kotchman for Lowrie, and Josh Reddick for Anderson. Hughes retired all of them. Drew grounded out to first, where Teixeira made a diving play to rob a possible double. Kotchman struck out looking. Reddick struck out looking. Yankees pitchers have just dominated today.
MATSUZAKA THROUGH SEVEN (6:34, END 7, 1-0 YANKS)
Before the game, Terry Francona said the Yankees lineup would make Matsuzaka pay for any mistakes, and therefore it would be his truest test since returning. Matsuzaka has passed. After a 1-2-3 seventh, his pitch count is up around 110 and he’s likely finished. But what a performance for Matsuzaka in his third outing since coming back. He allowed a bunch of runners, but the Yankees only got to him on Cano’s solo homer.
Phil Hughes will replace Sabathia, which the Sox surely welcome.
NO ANSWER FOR SOX (6:27, MID 7, 1-0 YANKS)
After seven innings, the Sox still have only one hit, the single by Lowell in the fifth. Sabathia hit Youkilis in the hand with one out, but Lowell chopped back to Sabathia, who deflected the ball, chased it down, and threw to first to throw out Lowell, who was running with a cinder block tied to each shoe. Oh, no, wait, he wasn’t. Ortiz then grounded to first.
YANKS ON THE BOARD, BARELY (6:10, BOT 6, 1-0 YANKS)
Cano led off the sixth with a liner to the opposite field. It bounced on the top of the fence and into the stands, a cheap home run but a home run nonetheless. Matsuzaka had allowed 10 base runners, and that’s how he finally lost his shutout.
SABATHIA STILL ROLLING (6:06, MID 6, 0-0)
Few pitchers have dominated the Sox like Sabathia this season — something to keep in mind for the postseason. Brian Anderson walked to lead off the sixth, but he was erased after Ellsbury struck out on a horrendous swing and Pedroia grounded to Jeter, who stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.
INNING OVER (5:56, END 5, 0-0)
Classic Dice Man in the fifth. The bases were loaded with no outs and Alex Rodriguez batting. The final damage? Zip. Swisher popped up along the seats in shallow left. Lowell chased the ball down and made a slick basket catch while running into the tarp. The game is still scoreless thanks to another amazing escape act byu Matsuzaka.
DICE-K ESCAPING (5:52, BOT 5, 0-0)
The Sox have dodged one big bullet thanks to a great play by Victor Martinez, but Matsuzaka still faces a bases loaded jam with two outs. Rodriguez came to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded after Teixeira walked. Rodriguez dribbled the first pitch he saw a few feet in front of home plate. Martinez pounced on it, then dove back to the plate, reaching his mitt on the plate just before Jeter slid in. Matsui followed with a pop to Martinez in foul ground. Theinning falls to Swisher.
LOWELL BREAKS IT UP (5:34, TOP 5, 0-0)
Mike Lowell led off the fifth with a single that scooted just under the glove of Robinson Cano, trying to make a backhand play up the middle. It was the Red Sox’ first hit this afternoon off Sabathia.
During his ongoing at-bat, Ortiz became the third Sox player today to have a beef with Kellogg on balls and strikes.
ALL ZEROS (5:18, MID 4, 0-0)
The Red Sox finally got a base runner when Martinez walked with two outs. But they couldn’t get a hit. Jeter ran down Youkilis’s flare behind second base, stranding Martinez at first.
RODRIGUEZ GETS IN THE WAY (5:09, END 3, 0-0)
Matsuzaka struck out Rodriguez, and then Rodriguez’s goofy play ended the inning. Teixeira was running on the 3-2 pitch, and Rodriguez looked at it for strike three. Then he started walking toward the Yankees dugout, stepping close to home plate and getting in Martinez’s way. His had double pump on his throw, and Kellogg called him for interference to make the third out.
CC STILL CRUISING (5:03, BOT 3, 0-0)
The Red Sox are through three without a hit. Jed Lowrie smacked a ball to the warning track in center, but Cabrera made the catch while crashing into the wall. The Yankees are rallying against Matsuzaka. Jeter was hit by pitch to lead off the inning. Damon flied out to the warning track in center, and then Teixeira flipped a single to left-center. Two on for A-Rod.
SABATHIA STRIKING (4:41, MID 2, 0-0)
The Sox have already been blown away by the likely Cy Young award, Zack Greinke, winner this road trip. They’re getting dominated today by a potential runner up. Sabathia struck out Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell to begin the inning; Lowell, like Pedroia, had a problem with Jeff Kellogg’s strike zone. David Ortiz smoked a 2-2 pitch to center, but Cabrera settled under it and made an easy catch.
MATSUZAKA SETTLES (4:32, END 1, 0-0)
Matsuzaka’s first inning with Martinez was a success. After Jeter’s single, Matsuzaka induced three straight groundouts from Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez.
TARGET PRACTICE? (4:23, BOT 1, 0-0)
What’s going on with Red Sox pitchers getting hit? Derek Jeter ripped a one-hopper back at Daisuke Matsuzaka to lead off his start. Matsuzaka stuck his leg out, and the ball deflected off his right shin, a couple feet lower than where Jon Lester got hit last night. This ball was nowhere as hard-hit as Melky Cabrera’s line drive, but it trickled toward the third base line and gave Jeter a leadoff single.
CC DEALS (4:20, MID 1, 0-0)
CC Sabathia no-hit the Red Sox for 5 2/3 innings in their last meeting at Yankee Stadium. He was just as dominant today in the first inning. Sabathia struck out Jacoby Ellsbury swinging and Dustin Pedroia looking. Pedroia protested that strike three was outside, even yelling at home plate once he returned the dugout. Victor Martinez battled, but eventually he flied out to center.
STRIKE ONE (4:12, PRE 1, 0-0)
New Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor threw out the first pitch. She wore a Yankees jersey — what a conflict of interest! — and was accompanied to the mound by Jorge Posada.