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Red Sox fans were all thinking the same thing. If the Sox can sweep the Yankees this series, then we can steal the AL East. However, apparently no one told New York, who rolled over Boston 9-5 on Friday night.
The Red Sox came into the series in the Bronx down five and a half games and were starting stud pitcher Jon Lester in Game 1. His opponent was Joba Chamberlain who, going into the game, was winless since August 6. In the battle of the pitchers, it was Joba who shined.
He retired the first eleven batters he faced, until Victor Martinez shot a solo home run in the fourth. Chamberlain ended up going six innings, giving up three runs on five hits. However, it was Lester who many were talking about following the game.
In the third inning, Lester was banded up by the Yankees bats, literally. Melky Cabrera drilled a single off of Lester, right above his knee. He immediately went to the ground and was in obvious pain. He was taken out of the game and went into the clubhouse for x-rays, which came back negative. Lester was tagged for five runs in the game in one of his poorest outings of the season.
The star of the game was Alex Rodriguez, who homered, had four RBI, and tied his career high with three stolen bases. He is the first player to have a three-hit, four-RBI, three-stolen base game since Edgar Renteria did it in 2003 with the Cardinals.
For Boston, most of the production came from David Ortiz, who hit his 27th home run of the season and hit into a fielder’s choice, which gave him three RBI on the night. Victor Martinez was also solid at the plate, going 2-4, including his solo home run, and two runs scored. Martinez’s hit streak is now at 24 games.
The Red Sox currently are six and a half games behind the Yankees, whose magic number to clinch the division has been reduced to three. Saturday ‘s match-up puts Daisuke Matsuzaka against CC Sabathia. Boston is now three wins away from punching their ticket into the postseason as the Wild Card team.
Victor scored twice and extended his hitting streak, making him the standout player in the Red Sox lineup.
Despite being knocked out of the game, Lester was already tagged for eight hits and four runs, including a home run to Alex Rodriguez, before he went out. Another run was charged to him when Robinson Cano scored after Lester left the game.
WP: Chamberlain (9-6)
LP: Lester (14-8)