Last night was absolutely a must-win game for the Red Sox. If they did not win last night, they absolutely would be selling– they still may be selling, but wrapping up that win against the Yankees was a key game. It looked like it would be a close one with Felix Doubront and Hiroki Kuroda as the starting pitchers and it was; they did it in exciting fashion too, as the game went into extra innings in a very similar way as the game before it– the Red Sox took an early lead, blew it, and regained it on a hit by Pedro Ciriaco.
The Red Sox took the early lead against Kuroda and the Yankees after putting runners at first and second with two outs for Ryan Sweeney. Sweeney was in a massive cold spell, and at the time was just 1-16 since the All-Star Break. However, it was Sweeney that did the damage here– taking one into the left-center gap for a two-run double. After Sweeney’s double, both pitchers settled down tremendously and this game really transformed into a pitcher’s duel.
The Red Sox still held a 2-0 lead as the game entered the bottom of the seventh. That was when Russell Martin led off the inning with a line drive home run over the short porch in right field, and was followed up by an Ichiro Suzuki single. After striking out Jayson Nix, Felix Doubront was taken out of the game after allowing just a run and striking out 8 over 6.1 strong innings. The bullpen corps stranded the Yankees in the seventh, but the Yanks would tie up the game in the eighth on an RBI single up the middle by none other than Russell Martin.
Both teams were held scoreless in the ninth and so the game entered extra innings with a 2-2 score. At this point, David Robertson replaced Rafael Soriano to pitch for the Yankees. He surrendered a leadoff walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the next batter– Will Middlebrooks– squared around to bunt. However, the ball hit his hand, but the umpires ruled that he was around and it was called a strike. Middlebrooks shook it off and singled to right to put runners at first and second. Ryan Sweeney grounded into a forceout to put runners at the corners for Pedro Ciriaco. Ciriaco blooped one over the head of Robinson Cano to score Saltalamacchia and give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Alfredo Aceves held the Yankees in the bottom half and the Red Sox won by that score.