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Behind the masterful performance of Jon Lester, the Red Sox took down the Pinstripes 7-3 on Saturday in New York. Lester, who will be gunning for win #20 in his final start of the year, had a perfect game through 4.0 innings and a no-no through 5.1. He only gave up two hits to go with his three walks and eight strikeouts (and a 2.96 ERA for the year).
Lester’s only real trouble came in the 6th, after a walk and a single, Derek Jeter singled to left field, and Austin Kearns tried to come around to score, but Daniel Nava gunned him down. Mark Teixeira made it to 3rd in the next inning, but the Yankees could do nothing.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox started their momentum in the 3rd, starting with a HBP, walk, and two singles. J.D. Drew grounded into a double play, which limited the gains from the inning, though a run did score on the play. And David Ortiz singled in another run later in the inning too.
Papi added another RBI single to his day in the 5th, and then in the 7th, J.D. Drew and Victor Martinez went back-to-back off of Chad Gaudin. The tally at the time: 6-0 good guys.
By that time, Lester’s pitch count was getting up there (102), so Daniel Bard came out to pitch the 8th. Brett Gardner reach on a(nother) fielding error by Adrian Beltre, and Bard promptly allowed a home run to Curtis Granderson. After two straight doubles from the Sox in the 9th made it 7-2, Hideki Okajima allowed a lead-off home run to A-Rod before silencing the Yankees for good.
The offense gets their due, but without Lester’s performance, the bullpen probably would have blown yet another game.
You actually got the sense that the Yankees could come back. Bard and Okajima combined for a 9.00 ERA (13.50 if you include the error that could just as easily been scored a tough hit) and 1.50 WHIP (2.00 with the aforementioned error) on the day.
“You can hear Kalish calling Nova off.” – the Fox announcers during the first out of the bottom of the 2nd, on a play in which Kalish and Nava nearly collided. They confused Nava and Nova (the Yankees’ starting pitcher) several more times.
W: Jon Lester (19-8)
L: Ivan Nova (1-1)
AL East / Wildcard Hunt:
|Tampa Bay Rays||92||61||–||–||–||–||2 vs Seattle (currently leading 4-0 in the top of the 6th), 3 vs Baltimore, 4 @ Kansas City|
|New York Yankees||92||63||1.0||8||–||–||1 vs Boston, 3 @ Toronto, 3 @ Boston|
|Boston Red Sox||86||68||6.5||3||5.5||3||1 @ New York (Yankees), 4 @ Chicago (White Sox), 3 vs New York (Yankees)|