Yankees - 001 300 010 - 5 8 1This game had a late-September intensity to it -- and after the first two games of this weekend series were played in under three hours, this battle clocked in at a more normal 3:56.
Red Sox - 304 000 01x - 8 11 0
Neither starter was very impressive. Hughes faced 15 batters. Nine reached base, seven scored; the other two runners were left on 3rd. Hughes threw 39 pitches in the first inning and 65 in his 2+ innings (4 batters into the 3rd) of work. Dice was better, but underwhelming (5-5-4-6-2). He threw a whopping 116 pitches (14-21-25 32-24).
Boston led 7-1 after three innings, but the lower half of the Yankees lineup rallied in the fourth against Dice to cut the lead to 7-4.
The turning point of the game came in the top of the eighth, with Boston holding onto that 7-4 lead. Mike Timlin took the ball from David Aardsma, who had thrown two no-hit innings, and for the second time in two appearances, Timlin gave no evidence that he belongs in Boston's bullpen. Timlin faced the same three Yankees he saw on Friday night. Jason Giambi took him deep on Friday and HGH belted another home run tonight, cutting the Sox lead to 7-5. Jose Molina (doubled on Friday) singled and Alberto Gonzalez (sac bunt) also singled. And in 11 pitches, New York went from being three runs down to having the possible lead run at the plate.
Javier Lopez came in and, after throwing a strike past a non-bunting Johnny Damon, got a ground ball to second. Dustin Pedroia charged it, tagged pinch-runner Melky Cabrera and threw to first for the double play. Wilson Betemit, who had run for Molina, went to third, but he stayed there and watched Robinson Cano (bffffbb) grounded out to Pedroia.
Joe Girardi's substitutions in that inning meant that Jorge Posada, who had been DHing because of a "dead arm", had to catch. Coco Crisp led off against Kyle Farnsworth with a single to center and he took off for second on the first pitch to Julio Lugo. Posada did not bother to throw. Lugo flied to right and Crisp was able to tag and advance to third. Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Sox an important insurance run with a sacrifice fly to center. Dustin Pedroia singled and, on the first pitch to JD Drew, he tried to steal. Again Posada did not attempt a throw. (Sox radio guy Dave O'Brien noted that after Farnsworth's last warm-up pitch before the inning began, Posada's throw to second base took two hops to get there.)
In the ninth, Lopez retired Bobby Abreu on a grounder to short before Manny Delcarmen came in. MDC fanned Alex Rodriguez and got Hideki Matsui to grounded to Pedroia.
Boston improved to 7-6 and left after the game for a night flight to Cleveland. New York slipped to 6-7 -- and fell into sole possession of last place in the AL East.
Phil Hughes (5.00, 80 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (1.47, 288 ERA+)