The Fenway faithful again had something spectacular to cheer on Friday night. The Sox were hosting the rival Yankees who were looking to steal a wildcard spot. It was John Lackey versus Hiroki Kuroda.
The Sox wasted no time scoring. In the bottom of the first inning, Dustin Pedroia singled, David Ortiz doubled, and Mike Carp grounded out which scored Pedroia. Nava singled, Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked, and then Stephen Drew doubled scoring both Nava and Salty. Sox lead 4-0.
Lackey was doing well and allowed just a solo homer to Brendan Ryan in the top of the 3rd. The score stayed at 4-1 until the top of the 6th when Lyle Overbay was able to score Robinson Cano, who had doubled, on a sacrifice fly. The score at 4-2 Lackey seemed to be getting through it, but that changed in the top of the 7th. Lackey gave up a single to Ryan and then another to Chris Stewart and was pulled from the game at just 82 pitches, much to his dismay. Craig Breslow came in for relief, but couldn’t prevent any further damage. After striking out Curtis Granderson, he walked Alex Rodriguez, gave up a double to Cano which tied the game 4-4.
The offense would not go quietly into that good night and immediately came to life in the bottom of that inning. Batting right handed, Shane Victorino singled. Ortiz was hit by a pitch (intentionally?). Pinch hitter Jonny Gomes walked which loaded the bases for Salty who hit a grand slam!
The loss dropped the Yankees to 2 games behind Tampa Bay for a wildcard spot with Cleveland a half game ahead of them. The Sox are the first team in the majors to hit 90 wins. The “magic number” is now 7.