Bronx, NY—After Friday’s game was postponed because of heavy rain, the Yanks and Red Sox began their three game weekend series on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps, motivated by the pre-game ceremony that honored Roger Maris’s 1961 achievement of hitting 61 homers, the Yanks scored six runs in the second and two more in the third as they moved to an easy 9-1 win.
The Yanks-Red Sox continue to be the current hottest rivalry in sports. Although Saturday’s game was not a battle for first place in the A. L. East, it drew the largest regular season crowd at the current Yankee Stadium, 49,556.
Jon Lester, the Boston starter, lost his third straight game. The Yanks scored eight runs in 2.2 innings, Lester’s shortest outing in the 2011 season. Four Yankees singles by Robinson Cano, Andruw Jones, Jesus Montero and Russell Martin respectively, a walk to Nick Swisher and a three-run homer by Derek Jeter on the first pitch netted the Yanks six runs in the second.
In the following inning, Swisher and Jones singled. Both were driven across the plate by a double by Montero.
Montero led off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run to right. Montero’s fourth homer of 20122 raised his runs batted in to four, his career high for a single game. Montero’s three consecutive hits tied his career high, previously achieved on Thursday.
Yankee manager Joe Girardi was not ready to name the backup catcher on the playoff roster despite Montero’s great play since coming to the Yankees, “I can’t tell you who’s going to be our backup catcher. It appears that he [Montero] knows how to make adjustments. This is a guy that can put up 3-4 runs batted in off a lefthander and that’s not going to surprise you.”
Freddy Garcia should have earned spot in the postseason starting rotation by hurling six innings of shutout ball. The 35 year old veteran surrendered six hits and walked one in his impressive outing.
Girardi, while not naming his rotation for the playoff, gave several reasons why Garcia would fit the role, “Today, he pitched great .Freddy knows how to pitch. He’s been there before. He is the one guy who brings a different look to our rotation.”
The final two regular season games in the Bronx will be a day/night doubleheader on Sunday.