The Red Sox refuse to make it easy, but three games into this four-game series, they've got three wins to New York's zero.
And oh, yes, Xander Bogaerts homered.
With the way this series had gone, Boston's early lead was appreciated, but not exactly taken for granted. Mike Napoli continued his torrid September, putting the Red Sox up 2-0 with a no-doubt two-run shot to left field in the top of the second. And while John Lackey would give up a run in each of the second, third, and fourth innings, the Sox would easily outpace the Yankees. Jonny Gomes' three-run shot in the top of the third alone would have been enough to keep Lackey ahead, but it's the fourth inning where things really got out of hand.
David Huff, obviously, had been hittable, but so far it had been the big swings that really hurt him. In the fourth, however, the Red Sox started up the old conga line offense. Singles from Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. set the stage, and Ryan Lavarnway was the first to cash in, doubling to the warning track in left-center field to bring one run in. A ground out from Xander Bogaerts was enough to score a second run, but Shane Victorino's line drive down the left field line would be the strike that knocked Huff out of the game. Add in a single from Jonny Gomes, double from Dustin Pedroia, and sacrifice fly from David Ortiz off replacement Jim Miller, and the Red Sox held a comfortable 10-2 lead--one that grew to 12-3 when Xander Bogaerts took a meatball from Miller and knocked it 443 feet to left-center for his first career home run.
Nine runs ahead, things finally felt safe. But this series being what it is, the Yankees just did not die. While Lackey was able to get to within one out--one strike!--of leaving with a quality start, Brett Gardner doubled down the left field line to bring two runs home, then scored on Derek Jeter's ground ball single up the middle. Nine runs became six, then five on singles from Cano and Soriano when Matt Thornton was, for some reason, once again allowed to pitch for the Red Sox.
Still, five runs would have been comfortable enough had Drake Britton not faded after a scoreless seventh, allowing the Yankees to score twice more in the eighth and putting the Red Sox in an honest-to-God save situation. Thankfully, though, that's where the madness finally ended. Junichi Tazawa recorded the final two outs of the eighth, and Mike Napoli struck again in the ninth, homering to left to give the Sox another insurance run. And while Tazawa would surrender a one-out walk to Lyle Overbay, Craig Breslow entered the game and retired Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells without drama, leaving the Red Sox winners of yet another series.