Sunday, June 29, 2014

Coming off of a tough outing against the Toronto Blue Jays last week, Chase Whitley followed up with another disappointing start against Boston on Sunday night, giving up five runs in four-plus innings, as the Yankees fell to Red Sox, 8-5, in a Sunday Night Baseball matchup on ESPN.

The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning on an RBI single by the struggling Stephen Drew, scoring Mike Napoli, who doubled off of Whitley to open the inning. Boston grew it's lead to 4-0 and inning later when Brock Holt walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to put a pair of runners on base ahead of David Ortiz, who belted a three-run homerun -- No. 450 of his career -- far into the right field seats to open up the game.

Ortiz's homerun gave Red Sox starter John Lackey some room to work with, which he would give back, for the most part.

With the offense struggling of late, the Yankees would not be shutout in this game. Ichiro Suzuki reached safely on a one-out error, stole second and moved to third on a Brett Gardner, then Derek Jeter, who picked up two hits tonight, singled into right field to score Ichiro, putting the Yankees on the board.

Mark Teixeira hardly sliced a solo homerun inside the right field foul pole in the bottom 4th inning, cutting Boston's lead in half to make it a 4-2 game. That was Teixeira's 15th dinger of the season -- he's been nothing short of what the Yankees needed from him this season. Two batters later, Carlos Beltran belted his 8th long ball of the year, pulling the Yanks within a run. Beltran had a good game, going 3-for-4, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.

After the Yankees were able to close the gap, Boston wasted no time opening it back up in the top half of the 5th inning.

Whitley walked Jackie Bradley Jr to open the frame, and that was the last of his night. Bradley would eventually come around to score, being the fifth and final of the five earned runs charged to Whitley on eight hits, two walks and a strikeout. Whitley was great during his first few weeks, but has taken a few steps back lately. It would be nice if he can readjust, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Joe Girardi brought Shawn Kelley, the usual 7th or 8th inning man, into the game and he walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases with nobody out ahead of Pedroia, who singled home two runs to put the Sox put up by three.

Thus ended the night of Kelley. On came long-man David Huff, who didn't last very long. He retired Ortiz for the first out of the 5th, then the Red Sox executed some heads up baseball to produce their seventh run of the night. Pedroia caught himself in a rundown between first and second, and by the time they got him out, Daniel Nava took off from third base to score, pushing their lead to 7-3.

After finally getting out of that half of the inning, the Yankees put two more runs on the board in an attempt to close to gap once more.

Ichiro tripled to deep right field when the ball rolled back to the warming track past a diving Mookie Betts, Gardner followed with a run-scoring double, then two batters, after Gardner moved to third base on a Jeter groundout, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out bring in Gardner, cutting the lead down to 7-5.

Lackey wasn't great. He made it through five innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Huff returned to the mound to begin the 6th inning -- this game was running at a very slow pace -- and put on the first three batters with a walk and two singles to load the bases. He was done, and Dellin Betances entered. He struck out Nava, got Pedroia to fly out -- still scoring a run -- then got Ortiz to ground out to end the inning with just a run in.

Betances finished with a three up, three down 7th inning, only needing 20 pitches to complete to frames, and the Yankees' offense was never heard of again. Matt Thornton and Jose Ramirez tossed scoreless 8th and 9th inning, each striking out a pair. And after Lackey left, the Sox used four pitchers to get through the final four innings, finishing off the win and claiming victory in the series finale after dropping the opening game on Friday night.

Up next for the Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays will come to town for a three-game set that starts on Monday night. David Phelps will be on the mound for the Bombers to faceoff with Chris Archer.


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