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Red Sox 2, Yankees 1: The knuckleball carries the day

It was Steven Wright's night Wednesday, with the Yankees proving hopeless against the knuckleball.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

One day after the Red Sox bullpen produced one of its most disastrous performances this season, Steven Wright took matters almost completely into his own hands, shutting down the Yankees lineup for eight excellent innings and turning an unfortunate night at the plate for Boston into just enough to earn a 2-1 win in New York.

For a team that scored 13 runs on Tuesday, the Yankees certainly didn't look very threatening against Wright tonight. This was no close thing for the knuckleballer. He was not frequently in trouble, didn't just survive against a whole bunch of hard-hit balls. He came out, walked the first batter he faced because, well, the knuckleball is the knuckleball, then struck out the next three because, well, the knuckleball is the knuckleball.

In fact, it would take until the fifth for the Yankees to record their first hit of the night. And by that point, they were already in a 2-0 hole. Mike Napoli had reached base on a 2-out error from Chase Headley and scored on a double from Alejandro De Aza in the second, and David Ortiz added his 21st homer of the season to lead off the fourth.

If it was a game that felt one-sided, though, it was far from out of reach. While the Sox had managed a couple big hits, with just two runs, Luis Severino had otherwise given Steven Wright little room for error. And what room he had he finally lost in the seventh, when Carlos Beltran finally got ahold of a knuckleball for a solo shot to bring the Yankees within one.

That, however, was all they would manage. Jake Ryan gave the Yankees a little life in the eighth, but was immediately erased by a double play. Koji Uehara did run into trouble in the ninth, with Rusney Castillo coming up just short (and on replay trapping) a single from Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley drawing a two-out walk, but Brian McCann flew out to center, giving Steven Wright and the Red Sox the win.