In a matchup that featured one of the first looks at a complete Red Sox lineup against the Yankees' 20-year-old prospect Manny Banuelos, it wouldn't have been surprising to see some big numbers put on the board. Instead, the second edition of Red Sox - Yankees this spring turned into a pitching duel, with the Boston's deep group outlasting New York's for a 2-1 win.
Getting the start against his old team, Alfredo Aceves was strong through the first two innings. Aside from having to save a run by snagging a Nick Swisher line drive in the first, there wasn't too much to worry about until the third inning when, with one out, the Yankees got on the board with back-to-back doubles from Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner. Aceves' shaky finish was likely the result of fatigue as he continues to try and stretch his arm back out into starting shape.
With Aceves' night done, the task of keeping the Yankees in check fell to the bullpen. They performed admirably. Dennys Reyes induced three ground balls, and though one found its way through, Ronny Belliard was quickly picked off at first for the out. Jonathan Papelbon followed with a clean inning, recording a strikeout on Montero, before Bobby Jenks followed suit, allowing just a bunt single to Curtis Granderson who was cut down stealing second by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Sox, meanwhile, set about scoring their runs in less-than-impressive fashion. With Manny Banuelos' Trenton teammate Dellin Betances hitting Marco Scutaro and walking Ryan Kalish to lead off the fifth, a wild pitch cost him the tying run as Scutaro scampered home with two outs.
One inning later, the Sox picked up the winning run in only slightly more impressive fashion. Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of singles to get the sixth started before Mike Cameron walked to load the bases with one out. All the Sox needed was a productive out, which Saltalamacchia provided, grounding out to second base, where the double play was broken up by Juan Carlos Linares, allowing Yamaico Navarro to come in the back door.
From there, all that was left was for Hideki Okajima and Rich Hill to (miraculously?) hold the lead. Okajima managed to hold on despite a pair of hits, and Hill contributed two strong frames to earn the save, and give the Red Sox the 2-1 win.
The Pitching: It's too hard to choose here. Every single pitcher could be considered to have had a good outing. Aceves gave up a run, but went three innings, and Okajima gave up some hits, but held the Yankees scoreless.
Mike Cameron: The only Red Sox to reach base more than once. Cameron is looking very much like the player the Sox expected when they picked him up last year.
The offense: There are some exceptions, but honestly, we expected more out of this group. Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz each picked up a hit, but it would have been nice to see some offensive fireworks with this group all together.
The Pedroia - Kalish Feud: Once again, Dustin Pedroia managed to erase Kalish on a double play the only time he was given the opportunity. How long before they come to blows?