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For six innings, CC Sabathia kept the New York Yankees ahead and their fans happy.
Then suddenly, a late lead and that good vibe disappeared.
David Ortiz broke loose after getting drilled by Sabathia, starting and finishing a seven-run burst in the seventh inning that led the Boston Red Sox over the Yankees 8-3 early Friday in a rain-delayed game that ended at 1:43 a.m.
“I just didn’t make the pitches to stop the damage when I needed to,” Sabathia said. “We lose the game and get swept, so I’ll take all the blame for what happened in the seventh inning.”
After a wait of almost 3 1/2 hours, Josh Beckett (5-2) outpitched Sabathia (7-4) for the third time this season. The Red Sox outscored New York 25-13 while completing their second three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium in a month.
Only a few thousand fans were left in the ballpark when Boston wrapped up its sixth win in a row overall and beat the Yankees for the seventh straight time. The Red Sox are 8-1 against their longtime rivals this year.
“It’s not how you wanted it to end tonight, it did and you’ve got to move on,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
“There’s a lot of baseball to be played until we see them again. And how we play the next month and a half or two months until we see them will have a lot to do with where we’re at,” he said.
A storm that brought lightning bolts over the Bronx delayed the start for 3 hours, 27 minutes. Shortly after the game began at 10:32 p.m., Beckett and Sabathia began zapping hitters, further ramping up baseball’s most-spirited rivalry.
Plunked in the right thigh by Sabathia’s 97 mph fastball in the fourth inning, Ortiz swung things in Boston’s favor a little later. The Red Sox trailed 2-0 when he singled off Sabathia to start the seventh, and his two-run double off David Robertson capped the big rally.
When it was over, Ortiz seemed more angry at the media—maybe for playing up the possibility of trouble between the teams—than at Sabathia.
“Finally got hit,” Ortiz said in a short rant that included some profanity.
Bad blood seemed to be brewing from the get-go on a humid night. Ortiz appeared a likely target after homering in the first two games of the series— he irked the Yankees by admiring one of those shots, which came after a brushback, and some in pinstripes talked about how Big Papi looked too comfortable at the plate.
Beckett had already hit Derek Jeter—near the elbow, with his second pitch of the game—and Alex Rodriguez around the hip when Ortiz came up in the fourth with one out and a runner on first.
Sabathia’s first pitch was a heater that squarely nailed Ortiz.
“The ball just got away from me,” the lefty ace said.
Plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt immediately pointed at both dugouts to issue warnings against further hostilities.
“I’m still trying to figure out whether David got hit for something I did,” Beckett said.
Ortiz slowly walked to first base as the crowd chanted “CC! CC!” When the inning ended, Sabathia shot a glance toward the slugger before heading to the dugout, where his Yankees teammates met him with fist bumps, high fives, handshakes and back slaps.
“Jeter always gives me a pound after every inning,” Sabathia explained.
To Yankees fans, perhaps it was long overdue. In his 15-season career, Ortiz had been hit by a pitch only once by the Yankees, that coming in 2003 AL playoffs. Rodriguez, meanwhile, had been hit by Boston pitchers 14 times since joining New York the next year.
Asked whether Sabathia hit Ortiz on purpose, Girardi said; “I don’t know, I didn’t throw it.”
Curtis Granderson, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning, was clipped on the left foot by Beckett’s breaking ball in the fifth. That plunking didn’t cause any problems—the three HBPs matched the most by an AL team this season.
Granderson launched his 18th home run right after Jeter was hit. Beckett had been 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings against the Yankees this season, outpitching Sabathia both times. Beckett threw four-hit ball over seven innings in this win.
Sabathia gave up Carl Crawford’s single in the second, then didn’t allow another hit until Ortiz singled in the seventh. Jed Lowrie followed with an RBI triple that snaked past right fielder Nick Swisher, Mike Cameron hit a tying double and Jacoby Ellsbury’s single put Boston ahead 3-2.
The ballpark was fairly filled for the first pitch. During the delay, fans watched Game 5 of the NBA finals between Dallas and Miami on the videoboard, mostly jeering LeBron James and the Heat. There were cheers in the second inning, too, when the Yankees announced ticket stubs could be redeemed for a future free ticket.
Notes: Jeter singled for his 2,990th career hit. … Yankees C Francisco Cervelli made his third throwing error in two games. … Yankees DH Jorge Posada was back in the lineup. He was out Wednesday night because his son was having surgery for a skull condition. … RHP Phil Hughes (shoulder inflammation) threw a two-inning simulated game at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla. He is set to start Tuesday for the Gulf Coast Yankees.
This program aired on June 10, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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