Red Sox Play Spoiler, Tee Off On Pettitte

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: The Boston Red Sox celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 10 - 8 on September 24 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The Red Sox are generally unfamiliar with the role of spoiler these days, but with the Yankees neck-and-neck with the Rays for the lead in the AL East, the Sox played the part perfectly tonight.

Powered by Jed Lowrie's four hit night, the Red Sox knocked Andy Pettitte out of the game in the fourth. Pettitte entered the inning with three runs (two earned) already to his name thanks to Lowrie's first hit--an opposite field shot that scored David Ortiz and Mike Lowell in the second. It was those same three Sox that dropped three straight singles in to start the fourth against him. Three more hits followed a Bill Hall flyout, and Pettitte left with a 7-1 deficit on his shoulders. The fifth inning didn't really go all that much better for Jonathan Albaladejo thanks to Bill Hall's 18th home run of the season.

For the first five innings, this really seemed like the perfect game for the Red Sox. Not only had they beaten up on one of the Yankees' best pitchers, but they also had Josh Beckett pitching like a star. And then came the sixth, and with it back-to-back home runs from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. One more long ball in the seventh from Nick Swisher, and Beckett's night was done with a disappointing five earned in just over six innings pitched.

Then it was the bullpen's turn. Scott Atchison continued a late-season dip by allowing Alex Rodriguez a second home run before Daniel Bard proved to be the only effective pitcher of the night with a scoreless eighth. Jonathan Papelbon closed out a suddenly close game, but not before allowing Mark Teixeira his own multi-HR game.

In the end, the score was 10-8. A win, but hardly clean. Aside from Beckett and the pen's mess, Mike Lowell went down after taking a ground ball to his face in the fifth. Just not how you would have drawn it all up.

But at least the Yankees won't be popping open any champagne tomorrow.

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