It has become a trend for the Red Sox to give John Lackey very little run support this year despite Lackey’s continuing excellent performance. However, this game today– a 13-9 win over the Yankees– was the exact opposite of the norm. John Lackey didn’t nearly have his best stuff, allowing 7 earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched, but the offense backed him up well enough that Lackey came away with a win.
After 1-2-3 innings on both sides in the first inning, the Red Sox drew first blood in the second inning. David Ortiz doubled to center to start the inning, and then Mike Napoli followed him with a bomb to left field– his 20th of the year– to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. The Yankees cut into that lead in the bottom half, but the Red Sox offense stayed strong in the third. Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a double, and a Shane Victorino hit by pitch set up first and second for Jonny Gomes, who promptly unloaded on a first-pitch change up for a three-run homer.
The Yankees mustered up another single run in the bottom of the third, but the Red Sox came away with their biggest inning of the day in the fourth. They picked up five runs with RBI’s from Ryan Lavarnway, Xander Bogaerts, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, and David Ortiz as the Red Sox jumped out to a 10-2 lead after a remarkable four innings.
Once again, the Yankees scored in the bottom of the fourth and in the fifth came the biggest home run of the day for the Red Sox. Xander Bogaerts got ahold of a Jim Miller fastball and crushed it 443 feet for the first home run of his MLB career. That homer would knock Miller out of the game, and as Brett Marshall entered, things got iffier for the Red Sox.
John Lackey recorded a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, but struggled upon entering the sixth. He was positioned to escape the inning with two on and two out, but a Brett Gardner double and Derek Jeter single dispelled that notion. He was replaced in favor of Matt Thornton, who allowed an inherited runner to score and bring the score to 12-7.
After a scoreless seventh, Drake Britton started the eighth and struggled mightily. He allowed a Mark Reynolds two-run double which would bring the Yankees within three runs of the Red Sox. Luckily, Junichi Tazawa was able to escape the inning and Mike Napoli’s second homer of the game in the ninth would give the Red Sox a bit of insurance at 13-9. A scoreless ninth and the Red Sox had won the first three games of the series and are well on their way to a sweep tomorrow.