Round One Goes to Yankees in Blow-Out Of Red Sox

Published on: 7th August, 2009

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New York – Round One of what many viewed as the pivotal series of this season between the Red Sox and Yankees went to the Bombers last night. In front of a season-high, sellout crowd of 49,008 at the new launching pad in the Bronx, the Yankees brought out their heavy lumber and at the same time, made the great John Smolz look like a 40 year old pitcher coming off a serious arm injury, precisely what he is as the Bombers rolled to a 13-6 win over Boston.

 

The victory increased the Yankees lead over the Red Sox to  3 ½ games and put their season record at 24 games over .500 for the first time this season, This is a very confident bunch of Yankees, right now.

 

“It’s the time of year that makes it a little bit different,” said Yankee manager Joe Girardi. “You start to get into the last couple months, we’re bunched together, so every game becomes fairly important. Obviously there are a lot more games after these four, but there’s not 120.”

 

’ “What we did two months ago doesn’t matter,” Girardi said before the game. “The game that’s important is the game tonight.”

 

After losing the first eight games between the teams this year, the Yankees finally got the monkey off their back with one of their best offensive displays of the season.

 

“It’s nice not to have you guys asking us anymore about getting that first win,” Nick Swisher said.

 

He was asked if 1-8 sounded that much better. “Three and a half games up,” he said. “That sounds real good.”

 

They chased Smolz with an eight-run fourth inning. The Yankees teed off on the former Cy Young winner in the fourth, posting an eight-spot to take a commanding 9-3 lead.

 

The first four batters in the inning reached base, as Robinson Cano singled in a run and Cabrera belted a three-run homer, putting the Yankees ahead, 5-3. Smoltz faced four more batters in the inning, recording one more out before leaving with the bases loaded. Hideki Matsui beat out a potential double play ball to bring another run home against Billy Traber, and then Posada – who had been thrown out at home in the second inning after neglecting to slide – atoned for his sin by crushing a three-run homer of his own to cap the inning

 

“It was a nice inning to put together, big hits all around from a lot of different guys,” Girardi said. “It was an important inning for us and it gave us a little bit of a cushion and we just kept adding on.”

 

The inning took almost all of the drama from the 3-hour, 52-minute marathon, with the only excitement late coming in the eighth when Mark Melancon hit Dustin Pedroia, who homered in the third. Pedroia yelled several expletives at Melancon, Terry Francona got upset and plate umpire Derryl Cousins warned both benches.

 

Joba Chamberlain, coming off three straight excellent starts since the All-Star game, struggled all night. He threw 108 pitches in five innings, walked seven, and never had command tonight. He was unable to throw first-pitch strikes with any consistency and his overall control was terrible, walking a career-high seven batters in his five innings of work.

 

Having sat in the dugout for 34 minutes watching his team build a big lead for him, Chamberlain returned to the mound in the fifth and lost his command altogether. He issued a pair of four-pitch walks to open the inning, then walked Drew with one out to load the bases.

With his pitch count approaching 100, Chamberlain was given an opportunity to pitch his way out of the jam to qualify for the win. He gave up an RBI single by Mike Lowell, but came back to strike out Casey Kotchman and Nick Green, finishing his day with a 9-4 lead and one last fist pump.

The Yankees hit four more home runs tonight. Smolz gave up a bomb to Melki Cabrera into the second deck, a three-run job that put the Yanks ahead 5-3. Posada’s three run homer was his 14th of the season, one of three hits he had tonight. Mark Texiera added a solo shot, and Johnny Damon hit his 20th of the season in this, a contract year for the 35 year old veteran.

 

 Yankee Notes:   Muhammad Ali  was honored before the game on the field as the entire Yankee roster came out to home plate to pose for pictures with the boxing legend.

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