Alex Rodriguez was the story throughout this game. He was obviously intentionally hit in the second inning, and came around to score the Yankees’ first run of the ballgame. Rodriguez then got his redemption off Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster with an RBI groundout in the third inning and came through with the big blow in the sixth inning off a tiring Dempster.
All the controversy surrounding Rodriguez in this game masked the fact that this was a very winnable game for the Red Sox and ultimately a very disappointing one as well. The Red Sox scored the first two runs of the game in the first inning on a sac fly from Jonny Gomes and an RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Yankees tied it up in the second inning and then took the lead in the third, but the Red Sox battled back in the early frames. After scoring a run in the third, the Sox took a 5-3 lead after four on a Stephen Drew sac fly and a Will Middlebrooks homer.
The Red Sox grabbed another run on a bases loaded walk in the sixth, but the turning point of the game came in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Dempster stuck in the game after five solid innings, and was only removed after allowing four of the first five batters to reach base, including a Rodriguez home run. The big hit was a huge bases-clearing triple off the bat of Brett Gardner, coming against struggling lefty Drake Britton.
From that point forward, it was largely coasting on the Yankees’ part. They picked up individual runs in the seventh and ninth off of Brandon Workman and Rubby de la Rosa, respectively. With the Rays’ victory today, the Red Sox’ division lead shrinks to just a game and the Red Sox depart for San Francisco for a three game series against the Giants next.