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Franklin Morales is having an exceptional season for the Boston Red Sox, becoming a starter out of nowhere. Unfortunately the New York Yankees remain kryptonite against the former reliever, blasting solo home runs off of Morales on Friday night in a 6-4 Red Sox loss.
This year Morales has allowed eight home runs to the Yankees (all solo shots), and on Friday it cost the Sox as Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin, and Derek Jeter all went deep off of him for the first four Yankees runs. Morales went 5.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on just six hits and a walk, striking out three.
With the Yankees leading 3-1 in the third, the Sox took the lead on a three-run laser shot home run by Dustin Pedroia, homering on his 29th birthday. The second baseman brought the Sox back with the blast off of Yankees starter Phil Hughes, although all four runs charged to Hughes in the inning were unearned after he misfired on a throw to second base into center field, extending the inning.
Jeter’s solo shot in the fifth tied the game 4-4, and after Morales departed one of his inherited runners scored with Clayton Mortensen on the mound, surrendering a two out RBI base hit to Jayson Nix. Swisher launched his second home run of the game in the seventh to give the Yankees an insurance run, and David Robertson and Rafael Soriano closed out the win, with Soriano picking up his 30th save of the year in the absence of Mariano Rivera.
The loss is yet another numbing disappointment for the Red Sox. At 58-62, the team that once hovered at .500 consistently can’t even manage to keep up that pace. Two games remain on this crucial 10-game road trip, on which Boston currently holds a 3-5 record. There are 42 games remaining in the regular season, the next of which will be played tomorrow afternoon when Jon Lester faces 25-year old Yankees starter David Phelps. Lester is 6-10 with a 5.20 ERA, but is coming off of one of his stronger performances of the season when he struck out twelve Cleveland Indians in six innings of work.