Yankees - 100 300 010 - 5 9 2 Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1 7 2left the game in the fourth inning with tightness in his right elbow. (Only one of his three runs allowed was earned.)
Boston had runners at first and second with one out in the third, but Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play. Two singles with two outs in the fourth were wasted.
Mookie Betts hit a solo homer (#10) for the Red Sox's only run. He also fanned with a runner on third to end the seventh.
Dellin Betances retired the Red Sox in order in the eighth. Andrew Miller recorded two strikeouts in the ninth, including Shane Victorino to end the game with a man on second.
Boston dropped to 6.5 GB.
Betts, CFIs this the season's most important series? So far, yes, without a doubt.
De Aza, RF
Boston has won nine of its last 12 games and is now only 5.5 GB the Yankees in the division. If the Red Sox can sweep this three-game series, they will be only 2.5 games out at the All-Star break. Conversely, a Yankees sweep would likely push the Red Sox back out of postseason contention. (With either team winning two of the three games, Boston would end the weekend either 4.5 or 6.5 GB. Those outcomes might not tell us very much.)
Dustin Pedroia (right hamstring injury) is eligible to be activated from the disabled list for the series, but it is not certain that he will play. Manager John Farrell says that Pedroia will be back in the lineup "when he's first ready, without any undue risk". In 12 games since Pedroia went down, Brock Holt has hit only .250/.304/.250.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes that the Red Sox's current surge points out how few good options Farrell has in his bullpen: "As a group, the 3.94 ERA Boston's bullpen had compiled entering play Wednesday ranks fourth-worst in the American League. ... By Fielding Independent Pitching, the group looks even worse." ... Joe Kelly, currently with Pawtucket, could return to the team as a reliever.
In his last nine appearances, covering nine innings, Koji Uehara has allowed only one hit, with opponents batting .034 (1-for-29). Uehara has no walks and nine strikeouts in those games.
Dvid Ortiz has played first base twice recently because of Mike Napoli's horrific slump. Can Ortiz keep doing it? "Hell, no. ... I'm too old for that, man. I like doing my focusing on hitting. ... I know my boy is going to bounce back and do what he normally does. It's just a matter of time." (Napoli is hitting .192 and is 2-for-27 (.029) in his last nine games.)
Rick Porcello has a 3.60 ERA in four starts with Ryan Hanigan behind the plate. His ERA with Sandy Leon or Blake Swihart is more than twice that (6.70). Porcello calls Hanigan an "experienced, veteran catcher, I trust him." Hanigan says he and Porcello have a good bond: "I'm feeling a groove with him. I like catching him."
Saturday, 7 PM: Ivan Nova / Eduardo Rodriguez
Sunday, 1:30 PM: Nathan Eovaldi / Wade Miley