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Maybe the Red Sox should play the Yankees every day. With a win Friday night in New Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox improved to 3-1 against their arch rivals in 2011 (compared to just 15-19 against everyone else).
Clay Buchholz was on the mound for the Sox, and delivered his best start of the season despite poor performances in the past against the Yanks (1-3, 6.25 ERA career vs. NYY entering Friday). He went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits and a walk. He also struck out seven to win his third straight start (4-3) in a 5-4 Sox victory.
Yankees catcher Russell Martin spurned the Red Sox again, touching Buchholz for a two-run shot in the fifth to tie it up, but Buchholz was otherwise dominant, using his assortment of pitches while changing speeds and location.
“He threw hard and down with movement, and then he started using his changeup and breaking ball,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “His fastball had so much depth to it.”
Adrian Gonzalez continued his tear with a home run in the fourth inning to start the scoring. He absolutely tattoed the Bartolo Colon pitch, sending it to the upper deck in right field for his eighth homer of the season. He now has 4 HRs over the last three games and 7 HRs in the last 10 games.
Gonzo added a sac fly in the seventh to give the Red Sox the lead, and Kevin Youkilis added two more with a two-run shot off longtime nemesis Joba Chamberlain in the same inning.
Curtis Granderson, currently tied for the league lead in home runs, did all he could to get the Yankees back in the game. Down 5-3 in the eighth, Granderson tripled off Daniel Bard and scored on a wild pitch. Bard then settled down, ratcheting up the heater to strike out Nick Swisher (on a 99-mph pitch) and induce a groundball from Jorge Posada (on a 101-mph pitch).
In the ninth inning, the Yankees picked up another run when Granderson singled home Derek Jeter, but Jonathan Papelbon eventually slammed the door shut to give the Red Sox a much-needed victory.
Adrian gets the nod mainly for what he’s been doing lately, but a 1-3 effort with a HR and two RBIs isn’t too shabby either.
Terry Francona sent out his two best men, and together, Bard and Papelbon allowed two runs on three hits and a walk.
W: Clay Buchholz (4-3)
L: Bartolo Colon (2-2)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (6)