At first, though, it was business as usual in Boston. John Lackey was once again entirely too hittable for the Red Sox, starting off the game with a two-run first inning and giving up one more run in each remaining frame before being pulled in the fifth.
He was better than Phil Hughes, though, who had the misfortune of being the first pitcher to really see what this lineup is supposed to be able to do. Dustin Pedroia got things started with a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning. It wasn't until the second inning, though, that things really got out of hand for the Yankees.
J.D. Drew stepped in to start the bottom of the second with the Sox facing an early 3-1 deficit, and quickly singled to center field. It was the first of six hits the Sox would pick up in the inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury each added one before Drew scored on a Marco Scutaro groundout. Carl Crawford provided the second out immediately after, but Hughes just could not get the third. Dustin Pedroia singled, Adrian Gonzalez singled, and Kevin Youkilis walked before finally getting caught in a run down after David Ortiz brought in the fifth run of the frame.
It was 6-3 Red Sox after two, but as mentioned earlier, John Lackey just could not stop giving up runs, with the Yankees drawing inexorably closer each inning, finally tying things up with a leadoff homer from Alex Rodriguez in the fifth.
The Sox weren't about to let this one slip away, though. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled in David Ortiz in the fifth after an error had kept the inning alive, and another rally in the seventh started by, of all things, an Adrian Gonzalez bunt put the Red Sox up by three with just two frames to go.
Already Alfredo Aceves and Bobby Jenks had given the Red Sox their first two scoreless innings of the game, if in somewhat shaky fashion. All they needed now was two more from Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon. Based on the first outings from each, that was going to be easier said and done. Not so. Both recorded clean innings, striking out three men between them. Jonathan Papelbon was especially impressive, putting up a performance that looked more like what you would expect out of him back in 2007.
It took way too long, but the Sox have finally won, and they did it against the best possible opponents. 1-6, and on top of the world.