Red Sox - 310 020 000 - 6 7 0 Yankees - 100 020 001 - 4 9 0
Lester (6-8-3-1-5, 112) threw 53 pitches in the first two innings, but was not seriously threatened, despite the pronouncements of impending doom from both Don Orsillo (TV) and Dave O'Brien (radio). Lester left the bases loaded in the first, allowed a two-out single in the second, gave up a leadoff single in the third but did not allow the runner to advance, stranded two in the fourth, and one in the fifth. His only 1-2-3 inning was the sixth.
Lester has received credit for a win in his last five starts against the Yankees (dating back to May 2010). It's the longest streak since Roger Clemens had five from June 1986 to June 1988. The club record is eight, by Tex Hughson (1942-43); Bill Lee had seven.
David Ortiz crushed a no-doubt, two-run dong (#14) in the fifth to give the Sox a 6-1 lead (which is also Boston's record against the MFY this season) and although New York answered with two runs in their half of the inning, there was not much real worry. After the Sox's lead was cut to 6-3, the Yankees brought the potential tying run to the plate only once - and that was the final batter of the game, Alex Rodriguez, who struck out against Jonathan Papelbon.
Bobby Jenks took over for Lester and threw only four pitches to Jorge Posada to start the seventh before having to leave the game because of back pain/tightness. ... Mark Teixeira was hit flush on the right knee by a pitch in the first inning and left the game in considerable pain. X-rays were negative.
not as rare as I thought.
The victory puts the Red Sox (34-26) into a first place tie with the Yankees (33-25), though New York's winning percentage is actually .002 better than Boston's. We'll deal with that tomorrow.
Jon Lester / Freddy Garcia
W L PCT GB RS RA DIFF PYTH Yankees 33 24 .579 --- 293 222 + 71 36-21 Red Sox 33 26 .559 1.0 290 262 + 28 32-27 Rays 31 29 .517 3.5 248 238 + 10 31-29 Blue Jays 30 30 .500 4.5 292 265 + 27 33-27 orioles 27 31 .466 6.5 233 276 - 43 25-33PYTH is each team's expected record, based on their runs scored and runs allowed.
The Post's George King writes: "Welcome to the real start of the baseball season." King says these games mean "a lot more than the seventh, eighth and ninth games of the season did."
But do they mean more than the 38th, 39th, and 40th games of the season, i.e., Boston's three-game sweep in the Bronx on May 13-15? King grudgingly mentions those games, in which the Yankees were 3-for-22 (.136) with RATS, towards the end of his article. Anyway, no matter when the games are played, each one "means" the same thing in the standings. Perhaps King means the anticipation is higher for this series.
Mike Lupica says this series is the start of "baseball summer ... a perfect time to find out what it looks like when the Red Sox are finally playing the way they are supposed to and the Yankees are doing the same."
The Red Sox are 5-1 against the Yankees in 2011, out-hitting them .292 to .216 and posting a better ERA, 3.67 to 5.37. ... Alex Rodriguez is only 6-for-29 (.207) against Lester, but has two doubles and three home runs. ... Among David Ortiz's 11 hits against Garcia are four doubles and three homers.
On this date in 2007, Curt Schilling was one out away from a no-hitter when Oakland's Shannon Stewart singles to right field. Schilling completes his one-hit, 1-0 win two pitches later.
AL East: Blue Jays/Royals at 8 PM and Rays/Angels at 10 PM.