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Empire State Sweep: Sox Slam Sabathia In Seventh, Sweep Yankees

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The Red Sox came, they hit, and they conquered.

Oh, sure, it took them a three-and-a-half hour rain delay and a good few innings to figure things out this time. But even with the final out coming at 1:43 AM, it was well worth the wait. 

For a while Thursday night, it seemed like the Yankees were prepared to finally get over their Red Sox troubles. Josh Beckett came out wild, plunking Derek Jeter with the second pitch of the game, and then was forced to serve up a meatball to Curtis Granderson after falling behind 3-1 to the Yankees center fielder. Granderson did what a good hitter is supposed to do with that sort of offering, and sent it over the wall in right to put the Sox behind 2-0 early.

Meanwhile, C.C. Sabathia was throwing fire, looking nigh unhittable having allowed only four baserunners through the first six innings of the game--one of them being David Ortiz, who took a retaliatory fastball in the hip. No, no benches cleared. The Sox had it coming with how many batters they'd hit so far this series (albeit due to wildness) and Ortiz was the obvious target after the bat flip from the first game became the center of attention on Wednesday. Yankees fans cheered, warnings were given, Ortiz smiled as he took his base, and everyone moved on with their lives.

Papi would keep on smiling, too, as he led off the seventh inning with a rare ground ball single to right field. An innocent enough start, it didn't really hint at what was to follow.

First came Jed Lowrie shooting a rocket past first base. What may have been a simple single turned out to be so much more, though, as Nick Swisher misplayed the ball, expecting it to bounce off the wall instead of head into the corner. With Swisher falling down in his attempt to adjust, Ortiz was able to come all the way home from first as Lowrie found himself safe at third base. Suddenly, the tying run was 90 feet away.

As amusing as Swisher's outfield clumsiness may have been, though, it didn't really contribute much to the inning. Carl Crawford would barely miss an infield single thanks to a strong throw from Alex Rodriguez, but Mike Cameron hooked a double to left, and Jason Varitke slapped a line drive single into right. Jacoby Ellsbury came up to the plate with the go-ahead run 90 feet away , and hit a seeing-eye single into right to put the Sox up 3-2.

It didn't stop there, though. Brett Gardner robbed Marco Scutaro of a double, but Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano couldn't get in the way of Adrian Gonzalez' single up the middle, and with Youkilis and Ortiz following with a line drive single and a ringing double that just missed getting out of the park, the Sox just didn't let up. By the time the inning came to an end, the Sox had taken a commanding 7-2 lead.

With only a lone run forthcoming from the Yankees lineup in the ninth (one the Sox had already matched in the top of the inning), the Sox headed off for their late night flight with a sweep of the Yankees at their backs.