|Closing Time: Adrian Gonzalez, Pedro Ciriaco lead Red Sox to late win over Yankees||07.28.12 at 9:25 pm ET|
NEW YORK — The Red Sox looked ready to cave in, with their season seemingly on the brink of collapse.
But after the bullpen blew a 6-4 lead in the eighth inning, the lineup responded to Mark Teixeira‘s game-tying two-run homer with a two-run rally of its own in the top of the ninth. The key damage was done by Pedro Ciriaco, who delivered a go-ahead triple and then scored an insurance run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth. Ciriaco, batting second in place of Carl Crawford, went 3-for-5 and scored three runs, improving his average to .356 on the year.
The victory brought the Sox back to one game under .500 with three games left before the trade deadline.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
• Adrian Gonzalez had one of his most impactful games of the season, going 3-for-5 with a run-scoring double in the first against starter CC Sabathia and then later adding a three-run homer in the fifth against the giant left-hander to put the Sox in position to claim a 6-4 win over the Yankees in the Bronx.
It was Gonzalez’s 10th homer of the year, and with those two hits, he improved to .418 (best in the majors) with a 1.146 OPS with runners in scoring position. The homer snapped a string by the Sox of seven straight solo homers.
• It was anything but perfect for Jon Lester, but the left-hander had his best stuff in some time, limiting the Yankees to four hits and two walks in six innings while striking out six. However, he was also touched for four runs as he once again proved vulnerable to the longball. He was taken deep by the Yankees twice, and has now allowed seven homers in his last three starts.
• The Red Sox batters, after scoring three runs in Friday night’s game, did enough to force Sabathia out of the game by the seventh inning. It marked the sixth time out of 18 starts in which Sabathia did not last at least seven innings and the sixth straight time that he has failed to pitch that deep into a game against the Red Sox. They recorded eight hits and one home run while forcing Sabathia to throw 104 pitches.
• Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk while driving in two. Against lefties, he’s now hitting .317 with a .901 OPS.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
• Vicente Padilla continued to have an awful time of things against the Yankees, giving up a game-tying, two-run homer to Teixeira in the eighth after inheriting a 6-4 lead. It was the third homer he’s allowed all year, two of which have come against the Yankees. In recording two outs and giving up two runs, Padilla saw his ERA against the Yankees somewhat improbably decrease, from 47.25 to 40.50. He’s given up nine runs in two innings against New York this year, and of his three blown holds this year, two have come against the Yankees.
• Mike Aviles went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .200 with a .226 OBP.
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