Red Sox top Yankees behind E-Rod and Hanley, 5-3


The Red Sox bounced back tonight from last night’s disheartening loss to top the Yankees 5-3, behind the pitching of Eduardo Rodriguez and the power of Hanley Ramirez.

Things started similarly to last night as Alex Rodriguez homered again in the first inning to put the Yankees on top, 1-0. In the bottom of the second, the Red Sox squandered a huge opportunity. After a David Ortiz double to left field and Ramirez single to right field put runners at first and third with no outs, Pablo Sandoval popped out. Mike Napoli came up with a perfect chance to drive in a run and grounded into a routine 5-4-3 double play to end the inning predictably.

More from David Ortiz

The Yankees were getting hits off Rodriguez, but not capitalizing on their chances. Chris Young was caught stealing after he had singled in the second inning and the Yankees hit into a double play in the third inning. Jacoby Ellsbury was then picked off for the third out of the third inning after he had singled.

The Red Sox tied the score thanks to Alejandro De Aza in the third inning. De Aza singled and stole second, advancing to third on an errant throw. Ryan Hanigan picked up the RBI on a slow chopper to tie the score, 1-1. The fourth inning saw the Red Sox take the lead for good. After another rocket single by Ortiz. Hanley hit an absolute bullet over the right field bullpen off the roof of the Red Sox bullpen dugout for a two run home run, to make the score 3-1 Red Sox.

In the sixth inning, our old friend Ellsbury hit a long home run just to the right of the triangle into the bullpen to make the score 3-2. It might have been tied if not for a diving catch by De Aza in right field to keep the previous hitter off the basepaths. E-Rod retired his last three batters to get the ball to Junichi Tazawa with one out in the top of the seventh.

With two outs in the top of the seventh. Chase Headley reached base on a disputed play when Hanigan’s throw hit him inside the baseline but the umpires did not see it that way. With Fenway holding its breath, Taz fanned Brian McCann to end that inning.

The Red Sox padded their lead in the seventh thanks to another rally started by that man De Aza again. After singling to lead off the inning, De Aza was at second with two outs when Mookie Betts came to the plate. The Yankees defensive coaches perhaps were unaware of Betts 37 extra base hits on the season because they positioned right fielder Young too shallow. When Betts hit a long fly ball to right, Young could not get back, taking a bad route to the ball as it fell behind him for a triple. Brock Holt walked on nine pitches.  Xander Bogaerts beat out an slow roller to second base to score Betts to make it 5-2.

Taz allowed the Yankees to creep closer in the eighth inning. Ellsbury beat out a chopper on the infield to bring Gardner to the plate. Gardner laced a double in the left center field gap to score Ellsbury and A-Rod came up as the tying run. Some Red Sox fans may have remembered Rodriguez’ home run off Taz earlier this season and started worrying about a repeat performance. Taz won the battle on this night, though, as he managed to retire Rodriguez on a harmless grounder to second to end the inning.

A double by Young off Koji Uehara in the ninth provided some drama with one out. Koji managed to strike out Headley and induce McCann to hit a deep fly to center field that Betts caught without much trouble to end the ballgame. The Red Sox evened the three game set with a win tonight, 5-3.

Game Notes:

  • Shane Victorino entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.  He has been to the plate just once in this series after starting both Miami games
  • Mike Napoli is two for 20 in July.  His last home run came on June 17 at Atlanta. His slash line for the year is now a terrible .191/.293/.352.  He was 0 for 4 tonight with one strikeout.
  • Eduardo Rodriguez gave up two home runs for the first time in his nine start major league career. He has now given up five home runs in 52.2 innings on the season.  The fireballing lefty has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his nine career starts.

Game Ball Eduardo Rodriguez. . STARTING PITCHING . B+.

E-Rod was his typical stingy self tonight, allowing just two home runs and no serious Yankee threats while he was in the game.  Hanigan certainly helped him by cutting down a base stealer and Rodriguez helped himself with the pickoff.  While he didn’t strike out many, just two on the night, he was in command throughout.  Considering how important this game was, E-Rod showed the composure and gave the kind of performance we have come to expect in his career thus far.

B-. . Game Ball Koji Uehara. . RELIEF PITCHING

He wasn’t the sharpest he has been all season.  The Yankees seem to have several hitters who have had success off him, including home runs.  Young’s double off him was hit hard.  With a two run lead, Koji had a little more room for error.  It is always nerve-wracking when the tying run comes to the plate.  Tazawa was the victim of bad luck on the Ellsbury infield hit, but also was not terribly sharp, surrendering three hits and a run.  If a lead is there in the seventh tomorrow, Farrell will be hard pressed to stay away from these two despite Taz’ 31 pitches tonight.  Others might have to step up tomorrow to secure a fifth straight series win going into the break.

B+. . Game Ball Alejandro De Aza. . HITTING

It was tempting to give it to Hanley who hit a homer to put the Sox ahead to stay.  De Aza though, was in the middle of two rallies and scored twice, including the all-important first run of the game to even the score.  Defense isn’t part of this section, but he did save a run with his diving catch before the Ellsbury home run. Hanley could have iced the game with a big hit with the bases loaded in the seventh inning but struck out.  The team was three for 11 with RISP tonight, a decent number warranting the high grade.

Expect to see De Aza in the lineup in left field tomorrow, perhaps with Hanley at DH and Ortiz at first base as the team tries to go to the break on a high note tomorrow at 1:30.