Coming off a night which saw the lineup shut down, Clay Buchholz leave with injury, and the Sox fall in what had been arguably their most important game of the season to date, Boston was a team in need of a boost. Saturday night, they got just that courtesy another strong start from Eduardo Rodriguez, a big swing from Hanley Ramirez, and positive performances in just about all the places you'd hope.
You wouldn't have guessed it would end this way given how perfectly this first inning mirrored Friday night's. Eduardo Rodriguez got the first out of the night with ease, but Brett Gardner battled him for nine pitches before finally grounding out, bringing Alex Rodriguez to the plate. On Saturday, he had started the scoring with a towering shot over everything in left. This time it was more a rocket than a bomb, but the result was the same: a solo shot into the Monster seats, and a 1-0 Yankees lead.
So a bad beginning for Eduardo Rodriguez, but not a bad start. There were plenty of shaky moments early on--Ryan Hanigan helped him out by erasing Chris Young at second after a leadoff single, and Jacoby Ellsbury got picked off in the third a couple at bats after a double play to make the two-hit inning remarkably toothless. But the fourth and fifth saw him settle down well enough.
The lineup, meanwhile, proved far more capable of handling Ivan Nova than Michael Pineda. Alejandro De Aza was once again in the middle of the action in the third inning, leading off the frame with a single, stealing second, taking third when the throw down got away, and then scoring on a ground out from Ryan Hanigan to even the score. That tie was quickly broken in the fourth when David Ortiz led off the inning with a single--one of three times on base for the designated hitter--setting up Hanley Ramirez, who took a high fastball into the bullpen in right, one-upping Alex Rodriguez with a two-run shot to make it 3-1.
The Yankees got back within a run in the sixth when Eduardo Rodriguez offered up a home run ball to Jacoby Ellsbury, but he would finish that inning, and get into the seventh before giving way to the bullpen. Junichi Tazawa would give up one run in recording five outs, but it came only after the Red Sox scored a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, with De Aza again providing the spark, Mookie Betts tripling him home, and Xander Bogaerts driving Betts in to give the Sox their fifth run.
The Clay Buchholz situation still looms large, even with the good-not-great news, but at least the big series against New York isn't dead in the water thanks to Rodriguez and the rest.