Closing Time: Jon Lester continues to dominate as Red Sox beat Yankees, 5-1
|09.14.13 at 3:50 pm ET|
Jon Lester continued his recent dominance, holding the Yankees to three hits and one run over eight innings to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win on Saturday. He now has a 1.86 ERA over his last eight outings, all of which have been quality starts. Saturday marked the fifth time during that stretch that he’s surrendered one earned run or fewer.
Lester was perfect through the first three innings before giving up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson in the fourth. Granderson wound up scoring, but then Lester allowed just four more baserunners the rest of the way.
Offensively, the Red Sox continued their 2013 dominance of CC Sabathia. They got to him for nine hits, four walks and five runs over six innings, forcing him to throw 110 pitches before departing. Sabathia now has a 7.22 ERA and 1.88 WHIP against the Sox this season. The Red Sox scored each inning from the second through fifth.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
–Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes — batting fourth and fifth in the order — each reached base all four times they went to the plate. Napoli singled and scored in the second, singled in the third, walked and scored in the fifth, and walked in the seventh. Gomes walked in the second, lined an RBI single to center in the third, doubled in the fifth, and walked in the seventh. Napoli now has a .386 average and .500 on-base percentage over his last 18 games, while Gomes is at .343 and .385 over his last 12.
-A little small ball paid off with a pair of runs in the early innings. Daniel Nava moved two runners over with a sacrifice bunt in the second, and Napoli scored from third one batter later on a Will Middlebrooks groundout. The next inning, Shane Victorino moved Dustin Pedroia to second with a sacrifice, and Pedroia scored one batter later on a double by David Ortiz.
–David Ross reached base twice, walking in the second and singling and scoring in the fourth. Ross is now 6-for-18 (.333) with three walks over his last six starts.
–Franklin Morales pitched a perfect ninth. He’s allowed just one run over 8 1/3 innings since returning from injury.
–Alfonso Soriano was a late scratch for the Yankees due to a sprained right thumb. Soriano was hitting .278/.333/.595 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs over his last 31 games. He is considered day-to-day.
WHAT WENT WRONG
-Victorino got all kinds of turned around in center field on Granderson’s triple to lead off the fourth. It might have been a tough catch even if Victorino had taken a good line, but once he got spun around, he had no chance. Victorino has played plenty of center field throughout his career, but had just 58 innings there this season going into Saturday’s game. Granderson scored on a groundout two batters later.
-Middlebrooks continued to struggle, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He’s now gone 17 straight at bats without reaching base. Middlebrooks did register an RBI on his groundout in the second, though.
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