Tagged: David Ortiz

Tyler Austin’s two-run homer in the 7th gave the Yankees a win over the Red Sox


Tyler Austin – ESPN

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-4, at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night for their second win in a row. The win also ended Boston’s 11-game winning streak.

The win kept them mathematically alive for the second wild card spot as they are four games behind the Baltimore Orioles with five games left in the season. Their chance is virtually impossible but it is positive to see that the players are still fighting as Joe Girardi has been saying.

To lead off the scoring for the Yankees in the bottom of the first inning, Gary Sanchez hit a two-run homer off of David Price for his 20th blast of the season. He matched Wally Berger of the 1930 Boston Braves as the fastest players in major league history to reach the 20-homer milestone. The have both hit 20 home runs in 51 games played. Sanchez or the Tigers Michael Fulmer are the two contenders for AL Rookie of the Year.

Another rookie, Tyler Austin, hit a two-run homer off of Price in the seventh inning when the score was tied at four. That was his fourth homer and after hitting a homer in his first career at-bat his other homers this season have all come in clutch situations. He 3-3 game raised his average from .197 to .230. He along with others on the team expect greatness when Sanchez steps to the plate.

“Everybody on the team calls home run when he steps up there,” Austin said.

Price has a 1-3 record with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season. He struggled once again as he allowed six runs on 12 hits, one walk and three homers against the Yankees. He has been an ace for much of his career but the Yankees have basically always had his number from when he was a Tampa Bay Ray, to when he was a Toronto Blue Jay to now with the Red Sox.

“I was trying to stay with my approach and go from there,” Austin said. “I just try to do the same work I have been doing all year and go from there. It is unbelievable to see these guys doing well up here.”

This is David Ortiz‘s last series of his career against the Yankees, and the longtime star designated hitter for the Red Sox finished the game by going 0-5. He has 37 homers and 124 RBI this season, which is the best for a player in his age 40 season, but he struck out with a chance to tie the game in the 9th inning.

The third homer that the Yankees hit was a solo homer by Didi Gregorius in the sixth inning. That homer came after the Red Sox scored their first two runs of the game in the top of the sixth. Gregorius’s 20th homer of the season proves he has greatly improved offensively this year as he only hit nine homers in all of 2015, which was his previous career-high.

Gregorius’s homer also made history because he and Starlin Castro are now the first Yankees middle infielders to each hit 20 or more homers in a season. Castro, who is in his first season with the Yankees after being traded from the Chicago Cubs, has hit 21 homers. Castro’s previous career-high was 14 homers back in 2014.

Castro and Gregorius are also only the third second base and shortstop combination 26 or younger (they are both 26) to hit 20 or more homers in a season. The other two are Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa (Astros) this season and David Bell and Alex Rodriguez in 1999 (Mariners). This is a middle infield that should be productive for the Yankees for years to come and Gregorius has been better offensively this season than anyone expected.

Luis Cessa pitched very well as he had his first start where he didn’t allow a home run and that helped him only allow two runs in six innings. He had two big strikeouts in the sixth inning. He struck out Ortiz swining with runners on second and third, and then struck out Hanley Ramirez swinging to end the inning after the second run of the inning scored on Mookie Betts’s ground out.

In eight games as a starter his ERA is a very solid 3.72. His slider was excellent, which helped keep the Red Sox guessing and off balance. It appears that Cessa can be a solid No. 4 or No. 5 option in the rotation next season since he has four pitches and can be relied upon to throw a quality start or better.

Tyler Clippard struck out two batters in the ninth inning for his second save of the season. The Yankees have two more games in the series against the Red Sox and they will honor Ortiz before Thursday’s game. His 52 homers with the Red Sox against the Yankees are tied with Carl Yastrzemski for second all-time behind Ted Williams’s 62.

Severino showed ace like ability in the Yankees 2-1 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday

Luis Severino.

Luis Severino.

The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night, 2-1, in Luis Severino’s major league debut. David Ortiz’s homer in the fourth inning to deep right center past the Modell’s sign in the second deck ended up being the game-winner.

Severino pitched very well in his first start with the Yankees after the top prospect had a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts with Triple-A Scranton. He threw five innings, allowed one earned run (two overall), recorded seven strikeouts and only allowed two hits.

A crucial play in the game ended up being Chase Headley’s throwing error on a Mike Napoli grounder when Headley had plenty of time to throw to first. Headley’s 18th error of the season allowed Alejandro De Aza to bat in the second and he hit a double to deep right center to score Napoli.

Severino was impressive pitching against the Red Sox and at Yankee Stadium for the first time. His fastball was consistently about 96mph, he mixed in his change up and he used his slider to get his strikeouts. He was not flustered after Ortiz’s long homer on a fastball that wasn’t low enough or after De Aza’s RBI double because he struck out the next batter after both of those at-bats.

Ortiz, the Red Sox longtime DH, was impressed with Severino’s ability. “That young kid, he’s got good stuff, man. I think he’s going to be pretty good,” Ortiz said. “I think at the end of the game he was missing location a little bit, but other than that, his stuff is very explosive.”

Joe Girardi also came away encouraged after Severino’s performance. “I thought he did a pretty good job,” Girardi said. “He has good poise. He made some big pitches in 3-2 counts. It’s a positive for him and what he can do going forward. I thought he located well with his fastball and can make some quality pitches.

Severino became the first pitcher in American League history to give up no more than two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in his major league debut.

The Yankees struggled to hit off of Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright. He had a 4.53 ERA coming into the game, but he has an outstanding 2.08 ERA in his 13 innings pitched against the Yankees this season. Wright pitched eight innings and had nine strikeouts while only allowing four hits and one run.

The only run that the Yankees scored off of the 30-year-old was a homer to right in the seventh inning by Carlos Beltran. Didi Gregorius broke up Wright’s no-hitter with a single in the fifth inning.

Chase Headley had his 12-game hitting streak end. He hit .408 in 49 at-bats during that span with 14 runs scored, four doubles and 12 RBIs. He has been playing more like the player that the Yankees thought they were trading for. The Yankees hitting stats on Wednesday don’t mean that much because they so infrequently face a knuckleball pitcher.

As a result of the Blue Jays and Orioles both winning on Wednesday, the Yankees now have a 4.5 game lead over Toronto and a 5.5 game lead over Baltimore for first place in the AL East. CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.54 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees in the series finale on Thursday and Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 4.34 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox.

Andrew Miller’s 10th save finished off the first sweep by the Yankees over the Red Sox since 2006

Andrew Miller during spring training.

Andrew Miller during spring training.

The Yankees beat the Red Sox 8-5 on Sunday Night Baseball and with the win they swept a series against the Red Sox that was three games or longer for the first time since the 2006 season. The Yankees finished in first place in the AL East with a 97-65 record during the 2006 season. The Yankees have completely turned around their season from when they struggled during the first nine games as they have now won 13 of their last 16 games to give them a 16-9 record.

The Yankees had not swept the Red Sox at Fenway since CC Sabathia has been on the team and he thought it was awesome that they did so.

I’ve never seen it,” CC Sabathia said. “It’s awesome to be able to come in here and do this. Tampa, the same thing; we hadn’t swept them (on the road) since I’ve been here, too. Hopefully it’s turning around and a sign of good things for us.

Jacoby Ellsbury and to a lesser extent Brett Gardner were the offensive stars of the game for the Yankees. Ellsbury, who has 19 hits in his last 40 at-bats, was four for four with two runs scored. He raised his batting average to a .351, which is the eighth highest in the American League. Gardner, who has had two hits in each of his past two games to raise his average to .320, was two for six with a homer, two runs scored and three RBIs.

The top two hitters in the lineup were six for 10 with four runs scored and three RBIs. That is a lot of offensive production from the top of the lineup. Gardner’s three-run homer came in the sixth inning and gave the Yankees an 8-0 lead. The homer with Didi Gregorius and Gardner on base gave him three RBIs for the second consecutive game.

The other homer in the game by the Yankees was hit by Mark Teixiera. He hit a homer in the first inning while Gardner was on base to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Teixiera only has a .202 average but his nine homers are third in the American League and his 20 RBIs are tied for sixth in the league. The most important part of Teixiera’s offensive game is his power production and he is giving the team all they can ask for in that department.

Three runs were scored between Teixeira and Gardner’s homer and they would need them since the Red Sox scored five run in the sixth inning. Brian McCann had a two-run double in the third for his 15th run batted in of the season and later in the inning Carlos Beltran doubled to right to score McCann.

After his extremely slow start to the season, Beltran appears to be slowly turning his season around since he now has a .300 average in his last seven days and is 4-8 with two doubles and two RBIs in his last two games. He has raised his average from .161 to .197 in the last eight days.

Those doubles by Beltran and McCann proved to be valuable since the Yankees had an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth but Warren allowed four runs in the sixth and Esmil Rogers allowed one runner to score. Warren pitched very well in the first five innings as he got the first nine batters he faced out and was able to get Daniel Nava to hit into a double play and then there was a foul out to McCann to end the fifth.

However, in the sixth, he allowed a single, double, a hit by pitch and another single all with two outs. Rogers came in with runners on first and second, after two runs had already scored in the inning, and allowed a three-run homer over the Green Monster to the dangerous Mike Napoli. Rogers was able to get the new Red Sox catcher, Blake Swihart, to strikeout swinging with runners on first and second to end the sixth.

David Carpenter and Andrew Miller did not allow a hit in the final 1.2 innings as the bullpen continued their dominance. Carpenter threw only one pitch in the eighth and was able to get a double play to end the inning and Miller had two more strikeouts en route to picking up his 10th save in as many chances. Miller was able to get his former teammate, David Ortiz, to hit a hard line drive to Ellsbury to end the game.

The Yankees are firing on all cylinders right now and will start a three-game series at Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays on Monday at 7:07 p.m.

The Yankees will play the Royals on Friday after Chase Headley hit a walk-off homer to beat the Red Sox

Headley's Gatorade shower after his first game with the Yankees.

Headley’s Gatorade shower after his first game with the Yankees.

Chase Headley’s home run to right field gave the Yankees a much-needed walk-off win against the Red Sox on Thursday night. It was their second win of the three-game series against Boston. Since the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners also won, the Yankees are still four games behind the Tigers and 3.5 games behind the Mariners. 

“He is tough,” Headley said. He (Koji Uehara) has got a great split finger so you just try and get the ball deep and if he beats you with the fastball you live with it. I got a split and I was able to put a good swing on it. It was just another win, one more twoards where we want to go.” Headley’s first walk-off hit with the Yankees came in his very first game with the team on July 22 against the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees were losing 4-3 in the ninth inning, but Mark Teixeira hit a game-tying homer to the second deck in right field. He is supposed to be a power hitter in the middle of the lineup, but his previous homer came all the way back on August 17 and his last one before that was on August 2. Teixeira had only driven in two runs since August 17. If he can continue to hit for power the rest of the season it will greatly help the offense. 

The first three runs that the Yankees scored were in the third-inning. Derek Jeter hit a double to deep center with one out in the third that scored Ichiro Suzuki and Jacoby Ellsbury. Jeter has been hitting the ball with much more power the past two games. With two outs in the inning, Carlos Beltran’s single to center scored Jeter. 

Chris Capuano started the game and had by far his shortest appearance in his eight games with the Yankees. He allowed three homers, six hits and four runs in only 4.1 innings. He allowed a two homers to David Ortiz and another to Brock Holt. Holt also made an outstanding diving catch going into center field from second base in the fifth inning. Since Capuano struggled, Girardi decided to take him out of the game after 76 pitches and mix and match his expanded bullpen to try to keep the Red Sox scoreless.

Rich Hill, Esmil Rogers, Josh Outman, Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren combined to only allow one hit in 4.2 innings. Warren was able to get out of trouble in the ninth, with the Yankees losing by one, since he hit Allen Craig with a pitch and then made an error trying to get Xander Bogoerts out at first causing runners to be on first and second with no outs. However, he was able to get Daniel Nava to fly out to left and then get two ground outs to end the inning.

With Craig I just led the fastball get away and hit him,” Warren said. “I expected the bunt and then kind of panicked after that instead of staying under control. I just tried to get ahead of guys once that happened and just tried to get outs, especially on the ground. It was a great win for us and we need to build on that tomorrow.”

After the winning the series against the Red Sox, the Yankees will continue their home stand with a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. The Royals currently have a one-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central, so if the Yankees sweep them they could directly make up ground on them. Kansas City has won three in a row but has only gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. Kansas City has been much better in the second-half of the season, and their .263 batting average is the third best in all of baseball.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series against the Royals: 

Friday 7:05 p.m. on YES

RHP Michael Pineda (3-3, 2.09 ERA)


RHP James Shields (12-7, 3.38 ERA)

Saturday 4:05 p.m. on Fox Sports 1

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-4, 2.80 ERA with the Yankees)


LHP Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.42 ERA)

Sunday 1:05 p.m. on YES and TBS

RHP Shane Greene (4-2, 3.88 ERA)


Yordano Ventura (11-9, 3.38 ERA)

The Yankees lost to the Red Sox on Tuesday as Shane Greene had his worst start of his season

Brett Gardner spiked his helmet on Tuesday.

Brett Gardner spiked his helmet on Tuesday.

The Yankees lost a deflating 9-4 game to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. This was the first game of their nine-game home stand. They didn’t play well overall as they made base-running mistakes, didn’t get a good start from Shane Greene and didn’t get hits with runners on base once again. 

Shane Greene, who had a 3.09 ERA in nine starts coming into the game, had by far his worst start of his rookie season. He allowed six runs, which included a three-run homer to Daniel Nava and a solo homer to Xander Bogaerts, in only 2.2 innings. That was only Nava’s third homer of the season and his last one came on April 15. “I just didn’t think his location was very good today. He just had a tough start tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “Greeny has thrown the ball well for us all along and he just had a tough start tonight.” 

Greene also allowed two runs in the first off of a RBI double to deep left by Yoenis Cespedes and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli that scored David Ortiz. Greene was flat out not able to locate his pitches like he had in his previous starts.

Esmil Rogers pitched 1.1 innings after Greene was taken out with two outs in the third, but Rogers gave up a homer to Mookie Betts for Boston’s seventh run. The Red Sox would have won the game on only the homers they hit because the three that they slugged accounted for five runs and the Yankees only scored four.

The Yankees scored four runs, which is more than they scored on Saturday and Sunday combined, but they had chances to add on many more runs. The Yankees left six runners on base, were only 2-7 with runners in scoring position with Jacoby Ellsbury going 0-3 and they grounded into two double plays.

In the fifth inning, with the Yankees losing 7-1 after Martin Prado’s homer in the third inning, Prado made a base running mistake after hitting a single to deep left since he thought Carlos Beltran would have scored on the play with Brian McCann advancing to third. He was not paying attention and was out at second, which caused there to be runners on second and third with one out instead of bases loaded with no outs. Chase Headley would walk to load the bases and Joe Kelly walked Francisco Cervelli on a 3-1 pitch to score the Yankees’ second run.

Ellsbury could have put the Yankees back in the game with a double, but he lined out to the shortstop with the bases loaded. Derek Jeter got an infield single to score the third run after the original out call was reversed. The Yankees didn’t come through with runners in scoring position once again when Brett Gardner struck out looking to end the 5th inning. The pitch was clearly about a foot outside and Gardner ended up being thrown out of the game because he spiked his helmet.   

“We all know Gardy knowns the strike zone. He got frustrated with him and I think most people would have,” Girardi said. This is regarding Gardner getting kicked out of the game. Girardi thought the pitch should have been called a ball and definitely trusts Gardner’s knowledge of the strike zone. “I saw the replay of it, obviously it was outside, about where I thought it was. My emotions just got the best of me,” Gardner said. He was obviously frustrated because he struck out at a crucial point of the game and it was also the home plate umpire’s second missed call with him at the plate. 

The Red Sox are currently in last by 5.5 games, and if they end up finishing the season in last place in the AL East they will only be the second team to finish in last place after winning the World Series the previous season. 

In the sixth-inning, McCann hit into a double play to end the inning. This would happen again in the seventh-inning as Cervelli hit into a double play with Chase Headley on first and Prado on second. Prado advanced to third on the double play, but Ellsbury flied out to right for another unsuccessful at-bat with a runner in scoring position. 

McCann hit a home run to right in the ninth off of Koji Uehara, but it was meaningless as a result of Greene having his worst start of the season at the wrong time and the offense not producing for yet another game. It also didn’t help that they combined to strikeout a combined nine times. 

The Yankees are now 33-32 at Yankee Stadium this season and they only average 3.6 runs at home. “This series is extremely important and this is not how your want to start out the series,” Girardi said. 

The Yankees will have to rebound from yesterday’s loss without Prado’s offense. He has a mild left hamstring strain and is hoping to return to the lineup in a day or two. The Yankees and Cleveland Indians are now both five games behind the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot.

Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. game will be started by the veteran Hiroki Kuroda who will be looking to get the team back in the win column. He is coming off of a start where he only allowed two runs in seven innings.  

The Yankees start a series against Tampa after losing their series against the Red Sox

Carlos Beltran hitting during spring training.

Carlos Beltran hitting during spring training.

The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox 8-5 on Sunday Night Baseball in the Bronx. After winning eight of 10 games from June 10 to June 20, the Yankees have now lost six of their past eight games. They lost two out of three game that the Yankees played against the Red Sox over the weekend.

Chase Whitley, who did not allow more than  three runs in any of his first seven starts, has now allowed eight and five runs in his last two starts. This could be a sign of him wearing down because he had primarily been a reliever in his minor-league career before being called up to the Yankees earlier this season.

“I just got away from myself a little bit, and made some mistakes there, and paid for it,” Whitely said. “I was most frustrated mostly with the pitch to Ortiz, obviously, and the walk to Bradley to set up the fifth was unacceptable.”

On Sunday, he allowed eight hits, five runs and two walks against Boston. He is starting to lose the accuracy he showed in his previous starts because he has allowed five walks in his last two starts, but he only walked three batters in his first seven starts in the big leagues.

In the second inning, Stephen Drew hit a single to right that scored Mike Napoli. In the third inning, David Ortiz hit his 450th home run of his career. He drove in Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia to make the score 4-0 Red Sox. It makes sense that he set that milestone against the Yankees since he has hit so many homers against them during his career.

For the first run of the game for the Yankees Derek Jeter drove in Ichiro Suzuki in the third inning. Ichiro was on third and Jeter hit his single on a 3-2 count with two outs. Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran both hit solo homers in the fourth inning to reduce Boston’s lead to 4-3. Teixeira hit his team-leading 15th homer and drove in his team-leading 41st RBI. Beltran led the team with his three hits, but it was not enough as the pitching could not contain the Red Sox offense.

Beltran’s homer was his 366th of his  borderline Hall of Fame career. He is in his 17th season after previously playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals. He is now tied with Lance Berkman for fourth place in the all-time homers list among switch hitters.

In the fifth inning, with Shawn Kelley pitching after Whitley was taken out after allowing a walk to leadoff the inning, Pedroia hit a single to right that scored Jackie Bradley Jr. and Holt. Daniel Nava scored Boston’s seventh run as David Huff caught Pedroia stealing, which allowed Nava to score. The three Yankees pitchers that pitched in the fifth inning threw a combined 42 pitches.

In the fifth inning the Yankees scored their fourth and fifth runs of the game. After Ichiro’s triple to lead off the inning, Brett Gardner hit a double to deep right to score Ichiro. After Jeter’s sacrifice ground out advanced Gardner to third, Jacoby Ellsbury’s ground out drove in Gardner. The Red Sox added an insurance run in the sixth off of Dellin Betances, but the run was charged to Huff.

The Yankees will need to acquire a pitcher via trade in the next few weeks to replace Vidal Nuno or Chase Whitley in the rotation. CC Sabathia should be able to return around the All-Star Break. Sabathia allowed two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings for High-A Tampa on Saturday. His second rehab start is scheduled to take place on Thursday for Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees are now two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays even though Toronto has lost their past three games. They will start a three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. David Phelps, who only six runs in his last start, will pitch for the Yankees and Chris Archer (4-5) will get the start for the Rays.

Nuno, Teixeira and Johnson led the Yankees to a 6-0 win over the Red Sox

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 6-0 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night for their second win in a row. This is the second time in their last 20 seasons that the Yankees have won six of their first eight games against the Red Sox. The first time was in 2012.

In the past three games, the offense had an impressive .284 average and six homers. Kelly Johnson had a .333 average and one homer in the past three games. The Yankees were led offensively in Friday’s game by Johnson’s two RBIs and Brian McCann’s two RBIs.

Vidal Nuno had his best start of his up and down campaign. He only allowed two hits and struck out five in his 5.2 innings pitched after allowing four and eight runs in his last two starts. He picked up his first win at Yankee Stadium in his 16th start of his career.

Nuno lowered his ERA from 5.88 to 5.42 as a result of getting his pitches to go exactly where he wanted them to and having his fastball average at least 90 MPH for the first time in his short career.

“He located the ball extremely well tonight,” Girardi said. “He bounced back. That is what you need guys to do. He fights. He goes out and competes. You know that he is not going go be intimidated by the situation and he gives you all he had.” Nuno said that he tried to get quick outs and help the team win.

Derek Jeter, who turned 40 on Thursday, had two hits and a run scored by the end of the third inning. He hit his 3,390th hit of his Hall of Fame career in the third inning and scored his 1,903rd run in the first inning after Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly.

It appeared that the Yankees would score at least a run in the third inning, but Red Sox starter Brandon Workman got Teixeira and Carlos Beltran out with the bases loaded. Luckily, the missed opportunity did not end up hurting the Yankees in this game.

In the fourth inning, Kelly Johnson hit his two-run homer to deep right center to drive in McCann to make the score 3-0. Brett Gardner made it back-to-back homers as he hit a homer to right for his seventh of the season. Gardner hit eight homers all of last season. The last time that the Yankees hit back-to-back homers was back on May 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

McCann, who was brought in to drive in runs and hit homers while taking advantage of the short porch in right, is starting to show more of his power. He gave the Yankees two insurance runs in the eighth inning as he hit a long two-run homer into the upper deck in right. Teixeira, who was one of three Yankees to have two hits, scored on McCann’s homer.

Dellin Betances came in after Nuno was taken out of the game, and he threw 1.1 innings while striking out two, allowing one hit and one walk. He is on track to be the first set up man All-Star on the Yankees since David Robertson in 2011. Betances now has a 1.39 ERA and 74 strikeouts in only 45.1 innings. He has remarkably struck out 43.5 percent of the batters he has faced.

Adam Warren pitched a perfect eighth inning. He was able to strikeout the dangerous David Ortiz with a 95 MPH to end the inning.

The Yankees hit three homers in one game for the first time since May 17. Hitting three homers in a game doesn’t happen all the time, but this could be a sign that the Yankees will start hitting with more power.

Johnson has hit all five of his homers at Yankees Stadium, and he has hit better recently as he has had more playing time with Yangervis Solarte’s struggling. Johnson’s playing more could be beneficial because he definitely has power as a result of slugging 16 homers in each of his past two seasons and a career-high of 26 homers in 2010.

The Yankees are two games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays. In Saturday’s game at 7:15 p.m., Masahiro Tanaka (11-2, 2.11 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Jon Lester (8-7, 3.14 ERA) will get the start for Boston. Tanaka, who is coming off his second loss of his career, will look to get his second win against Boston.


Jesus makes his Yankees debut, but the series win over Boston was highlighted by Burnett and Martin

There were many positives during this game, however, the one that stands out is that A.J. Burnett actually pitched the Yankees to victory, only allowing two runs.

I still think he should be taken out of the rotation, as he allowed 16 runs in two starts before this one, and his ERA is still 5.25, but now Girardi at least as a legitimate decision to make after Phil Hughes struggled so much in his last start.

Not many had confidence in Burnett coming into this game, but something was able to click in his brain allowing him to pitch like he was still a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.  What he was a starter for the Blue Jays he was consistently effective (2.56 ERA in eight starts) instead of consistently ineffective in eight starts before this one for the Yankees (8.71 ERA and zero wins).

Jon Lester had struggled in his three previous starts against the Yankees this season, but he will likely be somewhere in the top 10 in the CY Young with his 3.09 ERA, so it is not surprising that he only gave up one run in five innings.

Lester likely would have been able to pitch deeper into the contest if it was not for his very eventful top of the first.

David Ortiz hit a hard single to right, in the second inning, which gave him a 15 game hitting streak.

In the top of the third Andruw Jones missed a double by inches as his towering line drive just missed hitting the foul line on the Green Monster.  However, unfortunately he would go on to strike out looking on a 2-2 count.

Jones would go 0-1 with three walks but more importantly he has hit more like the hitter he was with the Braves for much of the second half of the season because of an advice from a somewhat unlikely source.  Jones would receive a call during the All-Star break from his mother who said that she didn’t like the way he was setting his legs in his batting stance.

Amazingly, during what was Burnett’s best start since June 29th, he only gave up Dustin Pedroia’s two run blast in the bottom of the fourth.  This would score MVP candidate Adrian Gonzalez, and would prove that Burnett is actually capable of adjusting to adversity.

With one out in the fifth inning Robinson Cano hit a long double into the triangle in center-field on Lester’s 100th pitch.  That double was Cano’s 39th of the season. Swisher bunted with one out which is very puzzling because he is one of the better RBI men on the team. They were down by a run and he could have driven in Cano with a single.

Jesus Montero would bat in top of the fifth with a chance to be the savior, but the nerves of playing in his first big league game and facing Lester got to him as he grounded out to shortstop.

Mark Teixiera got hit right on the knee to load the bases after Derek Jeter singled off of the Green Monster and Curtis Granderson walked.  At least that was not a fastball or he would have been badly hurt.  However, the Yankees failed again with men on base as Cano grounded out to third.

In the sixth inning, with david Ortiz batting, Burnett threw a pitch with a 3-2 count that appeared to be strike three on the outside corner but the umpire called it a ball.  Joe Girardi made the correct decision taking him out of the game at that point.  Burnett had allowed a single to Pedroia before that walk, and it was smart not to take any risks with AJ pitching.

To end the sixth inning Curtis Granderson made an outstanding diving catch to prevent two runs from scoring.  This also kept Burnett’s line at two runs, which is impressive.

One of the Yankees best prospects, Jesus Montero, who is known for his hitting, left a total of six runners on base in his first three at bats.  He would not do any damage in his fourth at bat but at least he was able to get himself to first via getting hit on his jersey.

With runners on first and second, Russell Martin decided to come through in the clutch, after so many had not earlier in the game.  Chris Dickerson, who had pinch run and Montero, scored giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.  Eric Chavez would hit a single to send Martin home, while would set the Yankees up for victory as their dominating bullpen options were on deck.

In the bottom of the ninth, Mariano Rivera surprisingly walked two hitters and give up a single before Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate.  He just wanted to make the game bottom of the ninth interesting as   Gonzalez would be called out on a checked swing to give the Yankees the victory and with the win they are now tied in the loss column with Boston.

The Yankees stranded nine base runners in the first five innings which would be a theme that luckily did not cost them the win.  They would go on to leave 13 men on base and would leave runners in scoring position with two outs six times, with Montero being the culprit three times in his debut.  On the other hand, Boston would be equally hurt by leaving 10 runners on base.

Another major reason that the Yankees got the upper hand in this game was that their bullpen vastly outperformed the Red Sox’ relievers.

Former Yankee pitcher Alfred Aceves, who can do a little of everything (and who choose number 91 after Dennis Rodman) gave up Martin’s double and in the process surrendering his teams lead.  Daniel Bard would allow the Yankees to have a two-run cushion as the Yankees best three relievers were set to enter the game.  Eric Chavez would close out the scoring off of Daniel Bard, with an RBI single, and he has improved his average 21 points since August 28 (this drastic increase is partly because he is a part-time player).

However, for the Yankees, their relievers only gave up one hit in 3.2 innings.  Corey Wade (2.17), who would get the team out of the fifth inning and pick up the win, was signed on June 13th and has proven to be one of the better mid-season, under the radar, acquisitions by GM Brian Cashman.

The impressive back of the bullpen trio of Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera imposed their will like normal, but they just had to work around four walks between them.

Rivera got Gonzalez out on his patented cutter which has to be one of the best single pitches of all-time.  The best closer in baseball history will soon be official as he is now five saves away from 600 and seven away from Trevor Hoffman’s all-time saves record. He could accomplish this feat in late September.

They now begin six game home-stand against division foes Toronto and Baltimore (with one on the road because of Hurricane Irene) who are in fourth and fifth place, respectively.  Boston will now face Texas and Toronto in their next six games as the neck-and-neck division race is bound to continue until the last few days of September.