Shane Victorino returned, and the Red Sox welcomed him back with perhaps their worst team performance of the year, falling to the Yankees in a 14 - 5 rout.
For a game that managed to last some four hours, this one was certainly over in a hurry. The Red Sox were just atrociously bad in the first few innings. Forget minor leagues, we're talking college ball. Maybe high school. Felix Doubront retired the first two batters before Xander Bogaerts booted a ground ball into center field to prolong the first. Naturally, two pitches later, Alfonso Soriano doubled to right to put the Yankees ahead 1-0.
The Red Sox managed to get Doubront back to the dugout before any more damage could be done score-wise. But any hope that Doubront could build momentum from there was quickly dashed in the top of the second when Dustin Pedroia fumbled the ball in attempting to turn a double play. It was one of those plays that would have been an out every time but for the strange new transfer rule, but that came as little solace to Doubront, who saw the chance for two outs and empty bases turn into two men on with nobody out. Yangervis Solarte followed up with a double, and one wild pitch later (David Ross was doing his best A.J. Pierzynski impersonation behind the plate, not really managing to corral any misplaced pitches) the score was 4-0.
It only got worse. After surrendering a solo shot to Mark Teixeira in the top of the third, Doubront himself joined the error party by misplaying a ground ball from Brett Gardner, who immediately proceeded to steal second and third off the inattentive southpaw. By the time that frame was over, it was 7-0 and fans around Boston were switching permanently over to the Bruins.
Sure, the Red Sox got a few runs back before all was said and done, but this game wasn't at all like one of those comeback attempts against the Orioles. It was all Yankees, all the time, the Red Sox repaying the blunder-filled performance New York put on Wednesday night tenfold. By the end of the night, Mike Carp was throwing knuckleballs. Poorly, yes, but unlike the rest of the team tonight, he at least has an excuse.
There is nothing good to be said about tonight. Nothing at all. Five errors, a pitching meltdown, offense that only arrived when the Yankees were basically ready to go home. It is a new low in a season that, for being less than four weeks old, has already had quite a few of them.