Red Sox wipe out Yankees
But at a time when even the city that doesn’t sleep was getting drowsy, the Sox discovered the energy to sweep their rivals away.
A seven-run seventh inning propelled the Red Sox to an 8-3 victory against the Yankees. That’s six straight wins for the Sox and a two-game lead in the American League East.
For the first time since 1913, the Red Sox have swept two three-game series from the Yankees in New York.
The Sox are 8-1 against the Yankees this season, outscoring them 60-37. Going back to last season, the Sox have won 15 of the last 20 games between the teams.
Josh Beckett (5-2) improved to 3-0 against the Yankees this season with an 0.86 earned run average. He allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings and struck out six.
Every Red Sox starter had at least one hit and eight players each scored a run. Now that’s balance.
“It’s satisfying to come back and win a game like that,’’ said Beckett, who has faced CC Sabathia in all three of his starts against the Yankees. “Watching them score those runs, especially against a pitcher like that, it was incredible.’’
Sabathia (7-4) carried a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning. Then came a knockout punch thrown by the Sox
David Ortiz grounded a single into right field. Jed Lowrie followed with a line drive down the first-base line that deflected away from right fielder Nick Swisher, who fell while chasing the ball.
Ortiz scored all the way from first and Lowrie had a triple.
Mike Cameron, on the roster for his ability to hit lefthanders, lined a fastball to left field for a double that tied the game. Cameron is 9 for 22 in his career against Sabathia with six extra-base hits.
“CC had a good fastball and slider all night,’’ Cameron said. “Then he started to leave the ball up and we had some good at-bats against him.’’
Jason Varitek followed with a single to right, moving Cameron to third base. Sabathia threw two sliders past a swinging Jacoby Ellsbury but could not put him away. Ellsbury hung in and flicked another slider into right field to give the Red Sox the lead.
Marco Scutaro lined a ball to the gap in left that was tracked down by Brett Gardner for the second out. But Adrian Gonzalez, the RBI machine, knocked a single into center that made it 4-2 and knocked Sabathia out of the game.
The Sox hammered away at reliever David Robertson. Youkilis lined an RBI single to left and Ortiz hit a two-run double to center. The Sox sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on eight hits.
“We kept the line moving and spread it out a little bit,’’ Sox manager Terry Francona said. “It ended up being a really good win for us.’’
Beckett had thrown 14 shutout innings against the Yankees in two starts this season. That streak lasted all of seven pitches.
Beckett hit Derek Jeter with a fastball that wandered inside. He then fell behind Curtis Granderson 3-and-1 and left a fastball right over the plate, which Granderson drove into the seats in right field for his 18th home run.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning of the first two games of the series, the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.
Beckett bounced back and retired seven batters in a row. With one out in the third inning, Jeter hit a fly ball to right field that Cameron caught, squeezed in his glove and then dropped transferring it to his other hand to throw.
Brian Knight, a first-year umpire, did not credit Cameron with a catch and Jeter took first on the error. He then stole second. Beckett came back to strike out Mark Teixeira and then hit Alex Rodriguez with a fastball to load the bases.
The dangerous Robinson Cano had a chance to extend the lead, but hit a shallow foul pop-up that Youkilis held on to.
With Beckett having hit two batters in three innings, Sabathia had little choice but to retaliate. That came in the top of the fourth inning.
With one out, Youkilis drew a walk. Sabathia’s first pitch was a 97-mph fastball that struck Ortiz squarely in the hip. Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately warned both teams as bloodthirsty Yankees fans howled in glee.
Ortiz was the logical choice for the Yankees given that manager Joe Girardi was offended by his flipping the bat after hitting a home run on Tuesday.
With two on and one out, Sabathia was done with the revenge business and got back to pitching as the fans chanted “CC, CC.’’ He got Lowrie on a pop-up to center field and Carl Crawford on a foul pop to the catcher to end the inning.
Beckett ran into more trouble in the sixth inning. With two out, Cano hit a ball down the left field line that bounced into the stands for a double. He then seemed to work around Nick Swisher, walking him on four pitches to get to Jorge Posada.
Posada hit a weak groundball to first that hugged the line. Thinking it would go foul; he stood and watched. The ball stayed fair and the inning was over.
The teams do not play again until Aug. 5.
“There’s a lot of baseball to be played until we see them again. The way we play the next month, month and a half until we see them is going to have a lot to do with where we’re at,’’ Girardi said. “That’s not how you wanted it to end tonight, but it did. You have to move on. You can’t have a hangover.’’ Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.