Monday, June 4, 2007

Sox Best Pitchers Can't Quiet Yankee Bats

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Alex Rodriguez's home run in the top of the ninth lifted the New York Yankees over the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Rodriguez, who ended 2-for-5 with two RBI, drove an 0-2 pitch from Jonathan Papelbon (0-1) over the wall in right-center with two outs, helping the Yankees take two of three from the AL East leaders and pull within 12 1/2 games of the Red Sox.

Jorge Posada and Josh Phelps also had two hits and drove in a run apiece for New York, which improved to 3-3 on its current 10-game road trip that will continue on Monday with the opener of a four-game set against the Chicago White Sox.

Brian Bruney (2-1) got the win, tossing one inning of relief. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth, retiring David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez before hitting Kevin Youkilis and then striking out Mike Lowell, for his fifth save of the season.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in three runs for the Red Sox, who lost for only the second time in eight games and ended a six-game homestand 3-3.

Boston starter Josh Beckett pitched well, but didn't record a decision. The right-hander, who has won his first eight decisions, left the game with a chance to earn the win, but received a no-decision instead. He was charged with four runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

After New York tied the game an inning earlier, Rodriguez ended a tumultuous week in dramatic fashion. The week started for the New York slugger with a newspaper report inferring infidelity, continued with a controversial play while running the bases in Toronto and continued in Boston as he made sure he was seen in public dinning with his wife.

Rodriguez now has 20 homers this season and few have been bigger. If the Yankees are to get back into the playoff picture, taking two of three from Boston, the best team in the majors, is a good start.

The Yankees began the scoring in the second inning. With one out Posada doubled, moved to third on Hideki Matsui's single and scored on Phelps' two- out single that went off the glove of Julio Lugo at short.

New York extended its lead in the fifth. Phelps and Melky Cabrera singled to start the inning. After Johnny Damon flew out and Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice, Bobby Abreu walked to load the bases for Rodriguez, who came through with an infield single to third. On the play, Jeter followed Phelps home as Lowell was charged with a throwing error.

Posada then singled home Abreu for a 4-0 Yankees' cushion.

Boston, though, rallied in the bottom of the inning, scoring five times to take the lead and also knocking New York starter Andy Pettitte from the contest.

Jason Varitek, Wily Mo Pena and Coco Crisp hit consecutive singles to start the inning and load the bases. Pedroia then doubled to clear the bases and draw the Red Sox within one run.

Ortiz followed with a single to chase home Pedroia with the tying run and advanced all the way to third when Abreu misplayed the ball in right field.

Luis Vizcaino then came on for Pettitte and intentionally walked Ramirez before Youkilis lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Ortiz with the go-ahead run.

Pettitte allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking one.

Boston had a chance to add a run in the sixth, but Lugo was thrown out at the plate on a Pedroia double to end the inning.

The Yankees got Pettitte off the hook in the eighth. After Hideki Matsui singled, Robinson Cano tripled against Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima. However, Okajima got out of any further trouble by striking out Phelps and inducing ground outs from Cabrera and Damon, as New York stranded the go-ahead run at third.

Game Notes

This was the 12th meeting of the season between these two clubs, with the Red Sox winning seven...Ramirez went 2-for-4 for Boston...Yankees first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz could miss up to six weeks after suffering a concussion, cervical sprain and a broken bone in his right wrist in a collision with Lowell on Saturday...Boston begins a seven-game road trip in Oakland on Monday.

No comments: