The New York Yankees posted an eight run second inning against the Red Sox and then hung on as Boston chipped away before losing to the Yanks 13-8 at sweltering Fenway Park late Wednesday afternoon. New York collected five home runs and 15 hits off an assortment of Red Sox pitching incompetence as they race to the wire against Toronto for the AL East title.
Masahiro Tanaka (10-6, 3.62) was making his 20th start in 2015 – matching his 2014 total – against left-hander Henry Owens (2-1, 4.03). Owens lasted about as long as a cold beer in the bleachers on this hot day with a meltdown that started with (ahem) a walk.
Boston takes a lead
Boston struck in the first with a pair of doubles to get a quick 1-0 lead. Mookie Betts took Tanaka’s second pitch to left field for a wall scraper to start things off. Pablo Sandoval (ground out) and Xander Bogaerts (called third strike) left Betts stranded – at least temporarily. David Ortiz has been hot and took the first pitch he saw for an absolute bullet to RF that bounced into the bullpen for a ground rule double. A very short-lived lead as New York stormed back with a hitting vengeance.
Owens gets the bird
Walks are painful and even more painful when they are followed by a home run. Owens gave Chase Headley a free pass and then hung one on 2-1 to Greg Bird for a right field home run. New York was not done. John Ryan Murphy then put one into left center for a back-to-back home run situation and a 3-1 Yankee advantage. New York was not done.
New York bombs the rook
Didi Gregorius, hot in this series, blooped a hit to right center and Stephen Drew piled on with a double to right. Five straight Yankees had reached and a walk to Brett Gardner made it six and a bases jammed situation for the shaky Owens. Chris Young added to the misery with a wall ball, but Gardner ran into an out for some temporary relief.
Alex Rodriguez put a cap on the inning and day for Owens with a line shot off the outcropping in left for two more runs and a merciful finish to Owens day. Enter Ryan Cook and exit the ball from the park off the bat of Carlos Beltran. That was a eight spot. The rest was some batting practice against the Boston “bullpen.”
Yanks pile on
What is it with Red Sox pitchers? Do they suspect they will get Ebola by actually tossing a strike? The third saw Cook walk Bird and Gregorius. Cook then managed to not walk someone and took the easy way out by giving up a three run home run to Drew. Cook has certainly sealed his fate with another dismal performance. Put a dollar sign in front of his ERA and it looks like the national debt.
The Red Sox bullpen is about as functional as a rusted out Yugo sitting on the streets of Belgrade. Next up on the home run parade was old friend Gregorius who put one into the bullpen off of Heath Hembree.
Looking for a bright spot
With the game appearing over the nation turns its lonely eyes to how the kids are doing and they generated a run in the fifth inning. Blake Swihart doubled off the Red Sox bullpen and scored on a pair of sac flies – the first by Jackie Bradley pushed Swihart to third and Betts brought him home with a sac fly to right.
In the sixth Bogaerts went Monster off Tanaka for his fifth long of the season and a bit of excitement for the faithful. For those who actually care the New York lead was now down to nine runs at 12-3. More to come from Bogaerts. Hope springs eternal in RSN when they face the Yankees.
Boston came back with two more runs in the seventh on a Sandoval sac fly and a Bogaerts line single to right. New York responded with a run and it was now a 13-5 ballgame.
Sox make it interesting
In the eighth singles by Travis Shaw, Rusney Castillo, Swihart and Bradley brought in two runs. Allen Craig then took his second walk of the afternoon and Yankee manager Joe Girardi was forced to go to his real bullpen with hard throwing Dellin Betances who put a lid on the threat with a Sandoval strikeout and a Bogaerts ground out. Joe, however, didn’t learn his bullpen lesson and brought in Caleb Cotham for the ninth.
Back to back doubles by Leon and Shaw to close the gap to 13-8 forced Girardi to go to Closer Andrew Miller. Miller showed why he was a good investment and quickly put the kibosh on any lingering Red Sox hopes by ending the game in a non save situation.
Tanaka took the win (11) and Owens took the loss to even his record at 2-2.
Game notes and miscellaneous trivia
* On this day in 1996 Mike Greenwell drove in all nine runs in a 9-8 Boston win against Seattle. A MLB record for driving in all his team’s runs in a game.
* Ortiz has hit home runs off 34 different Yankee pitchers. The most of any player against New York.
* The Yankees were not an original AL team. They moved from Baltimore where they were known as the Orioles.
* Betts now has a nine game hitting streak.
* The Yankees have retired the most numbers of any MLB team (20).
* The Yankees were called the Highlanders since they played at Hilltop Park. They moved to the Polo Grounds in 1913 and changed to the Yankees.
* Pedro Martinez was the last Red Sox pitcher (1999) to win six games in a month.
* The Yankees did not win their first WS title until 1923.
* The Red Sox had not allowed a home run in 68 innings until Brett Gardner hit one Monday night.
* Hal Chase was the first Yankee team captain.
* Jimmy Collins was the first Red Sox team captain.
* In 1921 the Giants and Yankees met in the World Series. This was not a subway series since they both shared the Polo Grounds.
* Babe Ruth pitched in five games for the Yankees and won all five.
* The Red Sox scored 161 runs in August. Third most in MLB.
* The Red Sox and the Yankees are the only two MLB teams to score 20 runs in a game this season. New York has accomplished it twice.
* The Yankees are the only MLB team to have multiple (3) nine run innings this season.
* Nathan Eovaldi has a nine game winning streak. Longest of any MLB pitcher this season.
Just an awful start for Owens. A productive first inning gave hope that Owens could give a quality effort. That disintegrated in the second with walks and a flurry of hits. The final tally was seven runs in 1.2 innings on six hits, a pair of walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Was Cook as bad as Owens? One could certainly make a case for that. Cook lasted 1.1 innings allowing four runs. Hembree went two innings and managed to give up only one run and only one walk. He must have napped whenJunichi Tazawa
have been walking the house lately.Craig Breslow
went 2.2 innings allowing a run on five hits.Alexi Ogando
went 1.1 and actually shut the door on New York.
Bogaerts with three hits including a home run. Swihart a pair of hits an RBI and two runs scored. Castillo with two hits. Bradley another hit. LOB – 10. RISP 5-17. A big hit in the 8th or 9th could actually have made this very interesting.
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