Heading into Boston, the New York Yankees were seven and a half games up on the Red Sox But, after the weekend series was over the Yankees increased their lead to nine and a half games. The Yankees took three out of the four games in Boston heading into the All Star Break.
The Red Sox going into the Sunday night game were looking to split the four game set. The Yankees won the first two games over the series, while the Red Sox rallied to win game three. Many people thought the Sunday night pitching matchup would be a pitcher’s duel between Jon Lester and Ivan Nova. That was not the case.
The Yankees were led Sunday night by Ivan Nova, who won his 10th game of the year, striking 10 Red Sox in six innings in a Yankees 7-3 win. He allowed two runs and six hits and won for the first time in four starts after winning his previous five outings.
The Yankees got on top of the Red Sox early as they scored two runs in the first inning. The Yankees hit Lester early and often, and in the fifth inning knocked Lester out of the game. Lester fell to 5-6 on the season giving up five runs on nine hits. Lester has won at least 15 games in each of the last four seasons. Until Sunday, the lefty had rebounded from early-season troubles and posted a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts.
The Yankees scored in the first inning in all four games in the series combining for 14 runs – five Friday, four in Saturday’s opener, three in the nightcap and two Sunday night. The first three batters hit safely for the Yankees Sunday night. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson started the game off with singles. Jeter made it 1-0 on an RBI Double by Mark Teixeira. Granderson scored on a Nick Swisher force out.
The Red Sox cut the lead in half with an unearned run when Jeter dropped an easy popup by Cody Ross with two outs. This allowed Pedro Ciriaco to score, after he singled and stole second. New York continued the pressure as they made it 3-1 on a Chris Stewart sacrifice fly. However, Boston fought back to make it 3-2 as David Ortiz hit an RBI Double to allow Ciriaco to score.
The Yankees widen their lead in the fifth and seventh innings. Teixeira started the fifth with a single and was driven home by a RBI triple by Alex Rodriguez. Andruw Jones singled in Rodriguez and the Yankee lead became 5-2. Jones made it 7-2 after hitting a two-run homerun in the seventh inning. Jones hit four homeruns in three games against the Red Sox.
The Yankees (52-33) have won five of their first six games this season against the Red Sox (43-43), all of them at Fenway Park. The Yanks also have the best record in the majors and they are doing it without their best pitchers.
The Yankees have survived the injuries to CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Michael Pineda, Mariano Rivera, Brett Gardner, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson and flourished in a division where all five clubs are .500 or better.
The Red Sox also have been overwhelmed by injuries to Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, and Andrew Bailery. They have dropped their last sixth game in the last seven and fell into a last place tie in the division with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Notes: There was a sellout crowd of 38,270 at Fenway Park Sunday night. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown by Ted Williams’ daughter Claudia (to Rice) and Babe Ruth’s granddaughter Linda Ruth Tosetti (to Ortiz). Yankees won 7 of last 9 games at Fenway Park.