( Game over, Yankees 4, Red Sox 2)
Let the celebration begin in New York. Mariano Rivera has closed the door on the Sox in the 9th inning to preserve the win for the Yankees, who have clinched the AL East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs before 47,576 at Yankee Stadium. Fans endured a 1:03 rain delay at the start of the game. A big two-out, two RBI single by HIdeki Matsui in the sixth overturned a 2-1 Sox lead. There were also a pair of solo homers by Melky Cabrera in the third and Mark Teixeira in the 8th. The Red Sox had runners at second and third in the 9th with two outs after pinch-hitter Victor Martinez reached on an error by second baseman Robinson Cano (which broke Martinez’ 25-game hiting streak). The Yankees are now celebrating on the field as the 2009 American League East champs after missing the playoffs last season. The Yankees swept the Red Sox.
(4:52, bottom 8th, Yankees 4, Boston 2)Yankees are moving closer to their AL East clinching celebration as Mark Teixeira has homered to leadoff the 8th inning to make this a two-run game. Texeira’s 38th homer came on a 1-1 pitch from Daniel Bard.
(4:07, bottom sixth, Yankees 3, Boston 2)
After a wild pitch by Saito put runners at second and third with two outs, the Red Sox decided not to walk Hideki Matsui intentionally. Matsui got the count to 2-2 before striking a linedrive single to right that J.D. Drew almost had a chance to catch. It delivered two runs and reversed Boston’s one-run lead.
(4:02, bottom sixth, Boston 2, Yankees 1)Paul Byrd has just exited after allowing a pair of two-out hits. Takashi Saito has come in to relieve Byrd, who pitched very well. While not an artistic success and while the Yankees hit some balls hard, Byrd gave the Red Sox all they could have hoped for.
(3:46, top sixth, Boston 2, Yankees 1)
Sure looked like Nick Swisher tagged up and left second base at precisely the same time Jacoby Ellsbury caught Robinson Cano’s flyball in the fifth inning. Red Sox appealed and Swisher was called out. But numerous replays show that second base umpire Tim Welke might have made the wrong call. It cost the Yankees a potential run as Melky Cabrera singled after the call.
(3:01, bottom third, Boston 2, Yankees 1)
Melky Cabrera stroked Paul Byrd’s first pitch in the third into the rightfield bleachers, cutting Boston’s lead to one. I didn’t expect Andy Pettitte to struggle and Byrd to be on top at this point, but it’s early. The Sox added a run in the top of the third when Mike Lowell hit into a bases-loaded double play after the Sox filled the bases with nobody out.
(2:32, bottom first, Boston 1 Yankees 0)
A-Rod stranded a runner at third with two outs in the bottom of the first when Paul Byrd fooled him with a curveball out of the strikezone which the Yankee third baseman offered at. Byrd allowed a leadoff single to Derek Jeter and was pushed to third on a sac bunt by Brett Gardner and the seldom seen 3-4-1 where the ball hit by Mark Teixeira clanged off Youkilis right to Pedroia, who threw to to a covering Byrd at first for the second out as Jeter moved to third.
(2:21, top first, Boston 1, Yankees 0)
We’re underway at Yankee Stadium following a 1:03 rain delay. Andy Pettitte was looking to clinch the AL East title for the Yankees. If the Yankees win, they also secure home field advantage for the playoffs. Jason Bay, hitting third today doubled to the rightfield corner with two outs. Kevin Youkilis walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. David Ortiz also drew a walk to load the bases. Pettitte, who has battled a sore arm, but is penciled in as New York’s No. 2 starter in the playoffs, went 2-0 on MIke Lowell before the Sox third baseman reached on an infield hit on a ball hit off Pettitte’s right foot that was redirected right to Alex Rodriguez at third base. A-Rod couldn’t transfer the ball from glove to hand and ate it, allowing Bay to score the first Sox run.