Bronx NY—The decline and likely fall of the Yankees from playoff contention is coming closer each day. Three consecutive September losses to Boston that the Yanks could not afford have left them 11 games behind Boston in the American League East and trailing four clubs for the second Wild Card spot in the A. L. with only 20 games remaining in the season.
David Huff, replacing Phil Hughes in the starting rotation, made his first start of 2013. The 29 year-old retired the first three batters of the game. From that point until he was removed from the contest after 3.1 innings, it appeared as if he was throwing batting practice. Red Sox batters connected for eight hits off him, six of them for extra bases.
David Ortiz led off the second with a double and scored on a two-run homer by Mike Napoli. The four-bagger was the ninth straight plate appearance in which Napoli reached base.
In the third, Xander Bogaerts led off with a double, Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch and both crossed the plate on the 12th home run of the year for Jonny Gomes.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Gomes singled and Ryan Lavarnway and Victorino doubled before Huff departed in the fourth.
The Red Sox offensive onslaught continued as reliever Jim Miller made his Yankee debut, the 54th player to appear in a game for the team this season which is a new franchise record. Miller gave up hits to the first two batters and a sacrifice fly by “Big Papi” knocked in the fifth run of the inning.
Every Red Sox batter in the starting lineup recorded a base hit before the fourth frame concluded.
Bogaerts, who made his major league debut on August 20, blasted his first career home run off Miller to score two in the fifth. Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his young player, “Today is a glimpse of why so many people are high on him even this early in his career.”
The final Boston run came on the second homer of the game by Napoli in the ninth off the next reliever, Brett Marshall. Farrell commented on his power hitting first sacker, “Napoli is, obviously, a major threat in the middle of the lineup.”
The Yankee offense chipped away at the Red Sox advantage as they scored one run in the second, third and fourth frames. Four runs in the sixth drove Boston starter John Lackey from the contest with two out.
The seven runs charged to Lackey were the most he has yielded this season, but were not enough to prevent him from being credited with the win.
The offensive support for Lackey was a surprise to him. He has the fifth lowest run support from his teammates in MLB, 3.77 runs per nine innings. After the contest, the pitcher joked, “Not even Lackey can stop a rally. The offense took care of me.”
Boston relievers allowed two additional Yankee runs in the eighth, but they were not enough to alter the outcome as Boston triumphed in the 13-9 slugfest. The Yankees were the first team in American League history to score at least eight runs in three straight games at home and lose all three.
The Boston skipper spoke with amazement of the hitting of both teams in the three games, “It’s a testament to the offensive capabilities of both teams. Considering the number of runs scored, no lead is big enough.”
The victory was Boston’s 12th win in the last 14 games. Thus, the team is moving closer towards clinching home field advantage throughout the post-season.
Despite 59 runs being scored during the first three games of the series, a pitching duel may be expected in the finale on Sunday afternoon as Jon Lester (13-8) and Hiroki Kuroda (11-10) are scheduled to start.