Ivan Nova gave the Yankees 7 1/3 strong innings as New York went on to win 3-2 and take 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox this weekend. Nova gave up 8 scattered hits and 2 ER, 4 Ks and no walks as the Yanks improved to 7-6 to tie the Blue Jays and the Rays at the top of the AL East. The Red Sox meanwhile fell to 5-8 as their anemic offense failed to get anything going once again.
Felix Doubront has struggled in his first two starts of the season, but after getting hit hard early, he settled in and kept the Yanks at bay. He pitched 6 2/3 innings giving up 7 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB and 2 K. The top of the order killed Doubront with leadoff man Brett Gardner going 2 for 4, and Carlos Beltran doing most of the damage going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a monstrous home run in the third inning to put the Yankees up for good. Despite the loss, Doubront was actually able to lower his ERA on the season to 6.75.
After Jonathan Herrera singled to drive in Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the top of the first inning, the only other major highlight for the Sox came from a towering Mike Napoli solo shot that made it a one run game in the sixth. Napoli has become somewhat of Yankee killer since joining the Red Sox last season with eight total home runs against the Bronx Bombers.
In a quick moving game (relative to other Red Sox/Yankees battles anyway) that lacked a good deal of the drama that has often come with the territory when these arch rivals meet, the major fireworks came in the bottom of the fourth inning when John Farrell was tossed for arguing with umps after a replay call was overturned. Francisco Cervelli, who was actually hurt on the play and did not return, was originally called out on 5-4-3 double play at first base after grounding out to third. Upon review after Yankee manager Joe Girardi challenged the play, it seemed that Cervelli was actually safe on a “bang-bang” type of play. On top of the horrible call on Saturday afternoon in which Dean Anna was not called out at second base even after review, Farrell had enough and his frustrations bubbled over. Let’s just say the lip reading during this sequence, while quite entertaining, was not for the faint of heart.
The only other major threat from the Sox came in the eighth inning when Napoli doubled and Daniel Nava worked his way to a walk from Yankee reliever David Phelps. A.J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch loading the bases. The Sox elected to pinch hit for Ryan Roberts, who 2 for 3 at the time, with Mike Carp. After a long, tedious at-bat that saw Carp arguing balls and strikes, he struck out swinging, ending a golden opportunity for Boston. Shawn Kelley came out for the Yanks in the ninth, earning his third save with a 1-2-3 inning. Unfortunately, with Dustin Pedroia out of the lineup due to a sore wrist, the Red Sox were unable to utilize Jonny Gomes to pinch hit for Herrera in the ninth due to a lack of second baseman on the bench.
The only reliever for the Red Sox was Chris Capuano who pitched 1 1/3 innings only allowing one hit and no runs. Capuano has now pitched in five games and has yet to give up a run in 6 and 1/3 innings with only four hits.
After a much needed off day tomorrow, the Red Sox will look to get things going in Chicago against the White Sox on Tuesday for the start of a three game series. Jake Peavy (0-0, 2.13) will take the mound against his old team. New York on the other hand will also play against another club from the Windy City when the Cubs make the trip to the Bronx for an odd two game series.