In a series opener pitting staff ace against staff ace, New York’s C.C. Sabathia out pitched Boston’s Jon Lester to lead the Yankees to a 4-1 win over Boston. Sabathia struck out 10 on the night while spacing out 6 hits in helping the Yankees snap a five game losing streak, and close to within one game of division leading Boston.
The Yankees broke on top early by reaching Lester for two runs in the bottom of the second. Mark Texeira drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a rocket double that Vernon Wells hit over the head of Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Jayson Nix followed with an RBI single to make it 1-0 New York and Ichiro Suzuki rapped an RBI single to chase home Nix, giving the Yankees a 2-0 advantage against Lester who struggled with control from the outset, tossing 50 pitches in the first two innings.
New York stretched the lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the 5th when Kevin Youkilis tagged Lester for an rbi double, scoring Suzuki who had reached on a controversial fielder’s choice on a play that netted Yankee’s skipper Joe Girardi an ejection for arguing Lester’s throw to Drew covering second that barely erased David Adams who reached on a walk.
Boston got on the board in the top of the 7th inning. Pedroia stroked a double to right to begin the frame and scored on Mike Napoli’s rbi double to make it 3-1. Napoli’s two-base hit marked his 20th double of the season and 40th rbi, but he was stranded at 2nd when David Ross grounded out to Cano to end any further 7th inning threat.
The Yankees got that run right back in the bottom of the 7th, with back-to-back-to-back singles by Suzuki, Stewart and Gardner to push New York’s advantage to 4-1 and chase Lester in favor of reliever Andrew Miller.
With the loss Lester fell to 6-2 on the season, finishing the night with a pitching line of IP 6 1/3 R 4 H 6 ER 4 BB 4 K 5 PC 115.
Sabathia improved to 5-4 on the season, finishing with a pitching line of IP 7 1/3 R 1 H 6 ER 1 BB 0 K 10 PC 105. Friday marked the 36th time in his career that Sabathia struck out 10 or more batters in a game.
Boston made it interesting in the 9th with a pair of singles by Pedroia and Ortiz, but Yankee’s closer Mariano River settled down and got Mike Napoli on a strike out and Stephen Drew on a weak grounder back to the box to end the threat, and earn his 19th save in 20 opportunities.
While the Yankees received reinforcements for the game with the return of 1st baseman Mark Texeira and 3rd baseman Kevin Youkilis to the lineup, the Red Sox were without leadoff hitter and record breaking base-stealer Jacoby Ellsbury. A night after stealing five bases against Philadelphia, Ellsbury was out of the lineup with a strained groin while Texeira returned for the Yankees following a near three-month absence with an injured wrist and Youkilis returned following 30 days on the DL with a bad back.
Boston sends Felix Doubront at 3-2 to the mound Saturday night while New York counters with Phil Hughes at 2-3 in the middle game of a three game series.
- Red Sox-Yankees Live: Jon Lester, CC Sabathia Go Toe-to-Toe As Sox, Yanks Open Up Three-Game Set in Bronx (nesn.com)
- Sabathia Ices Red Sox Bats, Yanks Take Opener 4-1 (titletownsportsnetwork.com)