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It took three hours and 27 minutes of a rain delay and then seven innings of actual baseball Thursday night for history to repeat itself, but repeat it did. Josh Beckett beat CC Sabathia for the third time this season, and the Red Sox scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to beat the Yankees, 8-3, and complete their second sweep of the season in New York. The Red Sox now own a two-game lead in the AL East.
Sabathia and the long rain delay combined to make the Red Sox look asleep through the first six innings. They got a baserunner to third only in the first inning (Jacoby Ellsbury, off a stolen base and a throwing error by Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli), and they went 1-2-3 in the fifth and sixth. Down 2-0 in the top of the seventh, the bats finally woke up.
Right fielder Nick Swisher also dove to try and stop the ball, but couldn’t get to it. By the time he got up and fired the ball in, Lowrie was all the way to third with an RBI triple. Mike Cameron tied the game with a double to left, then scored on a Jacoby Ellsbury single to right to make it 3-2 Red Sox.
A two-out single up the middle by Adrian Gonzalez made it 4-2 Red Sox and chased Sabathia from the game. Reliever David Robertson fared no better, however, giving up an RBI single to Kevin Youkilis and a two-RBI double that Ortiz hit to the gap in left-center to make it 7-2.
The Red Sox and Yankees each traded runs in the ninth, on a Gonzalez RBI double and a Derek Jeter ground out.
Every Red Sox player had at least one hit Thursday, with Ellsbury, Gonzalez and Ortiz each hitting two. Gonzalez and Ortiz each drove in two, and a different Red Sox scored each of Boston’s eight runs.
After one inning, it looked as if the Yankees were finally going to beat Beckett and the Red Sox. Sabathia had stranded Ellsbury at third by striking out Gonzalez and Youkilis, and Beckett hit Jeter to lead off the bottom of the first. Beckett then threw a 3-1 fastball through the heart of the strike zone. Center fielder Curtis Granderson jumped all over it, rocketing it into the seats in right field for the 2-0 Yankees lead.
Granderson’s home run was just one of four hits Beckett allowed. He got into trouble again in the third by loading the bases with two outs, but he escaped by getting second baseman Robinson Cano to foul out to Youkilis. Beckett finished the game giving up two runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. He struggled with his command, hitting three batters (to which Sabathia retaliated in the fourth by pegging Ortiz relatively harmlessly in the leg) and frequently missing high and wide of the right batter’s box.
Despite his struggles, Beckett lasted long enough for the Red Sox bats to come alive. Red Sox hitters drove up Sabathia’s pitch count, and Sabathia faltered in the seventh. Beckett picked up his fifth win, and Sabathia his fourth loss, snapping a personal four-game winning streak.
The Red Sox went 7-15 with runners in scoring position, and the Yankees went 0-7. That’s a recipe for defeat no matter who’s playing.
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, David Ortiz, David Robertson, Derek Jeter, Francisco Cervelli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Josh Beckett, Mark Texeira, Mike Cameron, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano