After viewing Wednesday's horrible performance from John Lackey and the rest of the Red Sox, we all thought this could be the start of another long losing streak. However, that wasn't the case tonight.
The Red Sox rolled into New York City Friday night to do battle with their arch rivals the New York Yankees to start their three-game series. Coming into the night on a two-game losing streak, it was Boston who landed the knockout punch in round one of the series.
Clay Buchholz took the mound for the Red Sox in hopes of receiving his second straight victory. Buchholz held the Yankees hitless through the first three innings and pitched very well when the Red Sox really needed him to. His line of seven innings, five hits, two earned runs, one walk, and seven strikeouts is arguably the best of his season, with the one walk standing out in particular to me.
Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon took the mound for the Yankees, looking to continue his remarkable return to top form. Colon, like Buchholz, really had no trouble through the first three innings of work, but ran into some trouble in the fourth when he faced the red-hot Adrian Gonzalez to lead-off the inning. While Gonzalez has been showing tons of opposite field power of late, tonight he pulled the ball to right field, hammering a Colon pitch into the second deck of Yankee Stadium for a solo shot. Later in the inning, Carl Crawford connected on an RBI groundout to bring home a run. 2-0, Red Sox.
Clay ran into his only blemish in the fifth inning. After allowing a leadoff single to Jorge Posada, Buchholz served up a two-run home run to former offseason catching target Russell Martin to tie the score at two.
Colon was pulled from the game for Joba Chamberlain in the seveth inning after limiting the Red Sox to just two runs to that point. His final line--6IP, 5H, 2ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Chamberlain could not keep the Sox in check as they pounced on the Yankees to re-gain the lead. Gonzalez got it started with a sac-fly that scored Jacoby Ellsbury from the third. One batter later, Kevin Youkilis connected on a two-run home run to right-center field to increase the lead. 5-2, Red Sox.
Buchholz was eventually yanked from the game in the eigth inning. His replacement: Daniel Bard. Bard gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson to left field. He eventually scored off a wild pitch, but Bard did manage to hold onto the lead, only giving up that sole run. 5-3, Red Sox.
Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth in a save situation and immediately got the first two outs with ease to begin the inning. Then, Derek Jeter connected on a single into the right field, and later advanced on defensive indifference to second base. Granderson then scored Jeter on a single of his own. The Yankees' rally fell short, though, with Papelbon getting a pop-up off the bat of Mark Teixeira to end the game. Buchholz gets the win and Papelbon gets the save--Final: 5-4, Red Sox.