Mookie Betts had all of the attention entering Sunday night’s tilt against the Yankees. However, while Betts had a good day in his Major League debut (going 1-3 with a walk and a run), at the end of the day the headlines belonged to a couple of Red Sox veterans: Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
The starting pitching matchup was between John Lackey (8-5, 3.45 ERA) and rookie Chase Whitley (3-1, 4.07), but neither pitched well. However, as has been such a rare occurrence this season, the Red Sox bailed Lackey’s poor performance out. While Lackey allowed five runs (four earned) in just five innings, he was able to pick up the win because of an unusual offensive outburst from the Red Sox bats.
It started in the second inning when the Red Sox grabbed a run on an RBI single by Stephen Drew. However, the big blow would come in the third inning when David Ortiz lifted a three-run home run to right-center field, scoring Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia to give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead. Lackey was unable to hold onto that lead, however, as the Red Sox climbed right back into the game with a Derek Jeter RBI single in the third and then with a pair of solo home runs in the fourth to cut the Red Sox’ lead to just 4-3.
The Red Sox scored three more times in the fifth, first on a soft two-run single by Dustin Pedroia and then on an odd rundown play which allowed Daniel Nava to score and make it 7-3. However, the Yankees scored twice more in the bottom of the fifth which would bring the score to 7-5 against John Lackey and the Red Sox.
The Red Sox were able to pick up one more run in the top of the sixth, coming on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia, and while it didn’t seem like it at the time, it would be enough for the Red Sox. The bullpen was excellent as Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa, and Koji Uehara each tossed shutout innings as the Red Sox went on to win the game 8-5 as well as the series, also climbing to just 6 games back in the AL East.