Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Sox Finish Sweep in New York, Finally Reach .500

                                                                                            Sports Illustrated

Red Sox 7 Yankees 5
Winning Pitcher: Jon Lester (5-1)
Losing Pitcher: Freddy Garcia (2-3)
Save: Jonathan Papelbon (7)

Jon Lester was shaky to start, but he was able to straighten himself out, and the Red Sox were able to complete the sweep at Yankee Stadium, as well as reaching the elusive .500 which has been their Great White Buffalo all year. Lester gave up four hits and two walks in the first two innings, and the Yankees were able to score four quick runs to start the game. The Red Sox offense came to the plate in the top of the third trailing 4-1 and their starter looked like he wasn't going to make it any more than five innings. However, with things looking grim, Kevin Youkilis came up with two guys on and rocketed one over the left field wall to tie the game. Two innings later, David Ortiz hit his seventh home run of the year, and the Red Sox had a 5-4 lead. Lester pitched one more inning and was pulled after 6 solid innings, in which he gave up four runs (all earned) on five hits, four walks and seven strike outs. In the top of the seventh, the Yankees called upon reliever David Robertson to keep the deficit at one. After a strikeout and two walks, Youkilis hit a soft ground ball to third, and Rodriguez let his go right under his glove and runners were safe all around, including Dustin Pedroia scoring the Red Sox's sixth run of the game. In the bottom half of the inning, Alfredo Aceves came on in relief. After walking Curtis Granderson, Aceves gave up a double to Rodrisguez, which was misplayed by Carl Crawford. The shaky defense from the left fielder allowed Granderson to come around to score and cut the deficit to one. However, in the top of the eighth, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his first homer of the year, and the first for any Red Sox catcher in 2011, to give the Sox an insurance run. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon held the lead and the Red Sox improved to 5-1 on the year against their biggest rivals.

The Red Sox (20-20) travel back to Fenway to play the Orioles (19-20) tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET. Boston sends Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3 4.64) to the mound against Baltimore's Chris Tillman (2-3 6.15).    

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