The Boston Red Sox are making sure to savor ever moment of their final visit to Yankee Stadium and after their 11-3 pounding of New York last night, the Yankees can not wait to see them leave. Dustin Pedroia belted a grand-slam, David Ortiz reached base four times for the second straight night and Jason Bay collected two hits and four RBI’s as the Sox routed New York, again, in front of a disappointed Bronx crowd. After the loss, the Yankees find themselves 7 games behind the Sox in the Wild Card race and 10.5 games behind the division leading Tampa Bay Rays.
“We just dug ourselves a bigger hole,” New York’s Johnny Damon said. “This is definitely a tough time for us.”
For Boston, Paul Byrd tossed six strong innings allowing two runs on five hits while recording five strike outs. The win improves his post All-Star game record to 6-1 and has helped stabilize the bottom half of the Sox rotation with more consistent starts then they’d been used to. His performance last night was reminiscent of when he finished off the Yankees in New York last season in the ALDS series with Cleveland to advance to the ALCS against Boston.
“When I walked into this clubhouse, I remembered getting champagne poured on me right over there, about 20 feet away, and I got a smile on my face because it just has a good memory to me,” Byrd said. “And I know this is the last year of the stadium, so you think about that.”
Boston exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning to put the hammer on the struggling Yankees. The big blow came with one out when Pedroia belted his first career grand slam off of relief pitcher Jose Veras, making the score 11-2 at the time. The win certainly keeps the teams spirits high but they know that it’s far to early to count the Yankees out of the race.
“I never write the Yankees off until the season’s over and the standings are set,” Pedroia said. “They’ve been around too long and been in the playoffs for such a long time that we’re definitely not counting them out.”
Pedroia finished the night 3-5 at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in four RBI’s all on the slam. Bay also collected four RBI’s by going 2-4 that included a triple in the first inning to get things going for the Sox. He now has six RBI’s in his two games against the clubs rivals.
“Two games doesn’t make a lifetime. It doesn’t make a career,” he said. “The whole month I’ve been here has kind of been a Red Sox-Yankee series for me.”
Since joining Boston at the trade deadline, Bay has done nothing but produce. He’s batting .347 with four homeruns and 24 RBI’s in 23 games.
The Sox will go for the sweep today and send Jon Lester to the mound to face Mike Mussina. Lester is coming off of his worst outing of the season while the Yankees have won the last five of Mussina’s starts. If the Sox could come out on top, a sweep would be the first at Yankee Stadium for them since April 23-25, 2004, and only their second in the Bronx this decade.
Following today’s game the Sox head back to Fenway Park for a six-game home stand that will feature an afternoon game on Sept. 3rd when the Red Sox will break the MLB record for consecutive sellouts. Tickets are still available for all games during this homestand!