The Yankees won their eight straight game; and, second in a row against the Boston Red Sox, 10-3, yesterday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Andy Pettitte, (12-7), was the winning pitcher for the New York Yankees, throwing 110 pitches over six solid innings, giving up three runs [one earned], on five hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. This performance lowered Pettitte’s ERA to 3.76.
This victory moved the Yankees [58-45] a little closer to first place in the AL EAST, as they are now tied with Boston [60-45] in the loss column, and only three games behind the Division leading Tampa Bay Rays [61-42], who won their game against the Royals in Kansas City last night.
After falling behind, 2-0, in the first inning, the Yankees scored one run in the top of the third on a RBI single by Bobby Abreu, that scored Jose Molina, to cut the Red Sox lead in half.
The Yankees took the lead, 3-2, in the 4th, on Robinson Cano’s ninth homerun of the year, and a RBI single by Johnny Damon, that drove home Melky Cabrera with the go-ahead run.
Cano continued his hot hitting, going (3-for-4) in this game, with a walk, a run, and three RBI’s, to raise his batting average to .270. And, during this eight game winning streak [since the All-Star break], Cano has 18 hits in 35 at-bats, a .514 batting average. With two months still remaining in the season, Robinson Cano has a great chance to reach the .300 mark once again in his career.
In the top of the 6th, the Yankees knocked the knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, out of the game, by scoring four runs, that upped the Bombers lead to, 7-2.
New Yankee, Xavier Nady, walked; Melky Cabrera hit a double; and Jose Molina was hit-by-a-pitch, to load the bases. Then, Damon grounded into a force play, that scored Nady for the first run, which was followed by a RBI single by Jeter; a RBI double by Abreu; and, a RBI single by Alex Rodriguez, that completed the scoring in the inning. There was still only one out after the A-Rod single, though; but, Jason Giambi grounded into a 3-3-5 double play to end the Yankees rally in the 6th.
After Mike Lowell grounded out to third for the first out in the bottom of the 6th, J.D Drew hit a homerun into the right field seats, to cut the Yankees lead to, 7-3. Andy Pettitte retired the final two batters in the inning, which completed his work on this day.
Jose Veras replaced Pettitte in the 7th, and after striking-out the leadoff hitter, Kevin Cash, he walked, Dustin Pedroia, and gave up a single to Kevin Youkilis. David Ortiz was the next batter up, so this set-up the perfect opportunity for Joe Girardi to bring in newly acquired, left-handed reliever, Damaso Marte, to face the left-handed, power-hitting, Ortiz.
In Marte’s first test as the lefty specialist out of the bullpen [really, the only lefty out of the bullpen], Damaso struck-out David Ortiz, swinging, for the second out of the inning. And, that was the only batter Marte would pitch against in his Yankee debut. He done his job, and that’s exactly what the Yankees expect to see from Marte in future appearances. Edwar Ramirez then entered the game, and recorded the last out of the 7th, on a fly-out to Melky in center, stranding two Red Sox runners on base.
In the top of the 8th, the Yankees added three more insurance runs, but not without a little drama.
Craig Hansen was the new Boston reliever on the mound, and started the inning by walking the first batter, Jose Molina. Then, Johnny Damon hit a grounder to second that was played into a fielders choice, that allowed Molina to reach second. Derek Jeter was up next, and struck-out; but, Molina advanced to third on a wild pitch by Hansen. With two outs, Bobby Abreu walked, to bring A-Rod up to the plate, with runners on first and third.
Hansen uncorked a high, hard, fastball, that looked very similar to the pitch that Joba Chamberlain threw at Kevin Youkilis in yesterday’s game; and, the ball ended up in pretty much the same place – except, the pitch in this game, by Hansen, hit Rodriguez on his left arm. A warning was given by the home plate umpire, and there was no other return action by the Yankees in this game. But, like yesterday, this is probably not over between both clubs, and sometime in a future game this activity will resume again.
The HBP loaded the bases, bringing up Giambi, who walked, which forced home a run. Then, Cano stroked a two-RBI double, that plated Abreu and A-Rod, for the 10-3 Yankees lead. Nady grounded out to end the inning, as the game headed into the bottom of the 8th.
Ramirez pitched a scoreless 8th inning; and, the great Yankee rookie reliever, David Robertson, closed out the game by pitching a scoreless 9th inning, to secure the victory for the New York Yankees.
A great win for the Yankees today, as they get ready for the sweep in tomorrow night’s final game of this three-game series.
Playoff baseball in July, Yankees vs. Red Sox.
A Season Within A Season !!!
It doesn’t get any better than this.