Facing a Red Sox lineup that has under-performed this season, Vidal Nuno pitched probably his best outing of the year, tossing 5.2 shutout innings with just two hits -- retiring 10 straight before walking David Ortiz with two outs in the 6th -- in the Yankees' 6-0 win over the Red Sox on Friday night in the Bronx.
Before the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was forced to answer more questions about not skipping over Nuno tonight after the off-day on Thursday, and he wasn't very pleased to answer them. Having pitcher poorly of late, Nuno was much better tonight, picking up just his second win of the season.
The Yankees' offense gave Nuno an early lead with a run in the 1st inning. Derek Jeter, a day after turning 40 years old, picked up the first of his two hits on the night with a single to right field, the Jeter way. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a double against his former team, then Mark Teixeira hit a sac-fly into left field that scored Jeter for Teixeira's 40th RBI of the season.
In the 3rd, the Yankees tried playing for a run but came away with none. After Kelly Johnson walked, Brett Gardner bunted him over. Jeter singled and Ellsbury walked to load the bases ahead of Teixeira, who struck out, and Carlos Beltran, who grounded out to end the inning.
An inning later, Johnson and Gardner took Red Sox starter Brandon Workman deep on back-to-back blasts, pushing the Yankees' lead to 4-0.
Brian McCann opened up of the bottom of the 4th with an opposite-field single, then after a couple of outs by Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki, Johnson smacked a two-run homerun, his fifth of the season -- he now has more then Robinson Cano (4), in case you were wondering. A couple pitches later, Gardner hit his 7th of the year.
The lead was more than enough for Nuno, who was curving his way through Boston's lineup with much ease. The only hits he gave up to Jonny Gomes, who singled to open the 2nd, and Brock Holt, who doubled in the 3rd. As you could have guess, neither hit lead to anything for the Sox. For a guy that has been awful at homerun this season, Nuno pitched really well, and quieted down some of the haters for at least another start.
As for Workman, he had a decent night on the mound for Boston, and it was made better by the fact that he was able to complete seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, with two walks and five strikeouts on 108 pitches.
Dellin Betances took over for Nuno with two outs in the 6th, walked Mike Napoli to begin his night, then set down the next Red Sox hitter to get out of the two on, two out jam. Betances then worked around a two-out double by Stephen Drew in the 7th, to finish off his night with 1.1 innings of scoreless ball.
After Adam Warren worked his usual scoreless 8th inning, needing just 10 pitches to set down the side in order, McCann delivered a 3-1 pitch from Craig Breslow deep into the right field seats for a two-run homerun, bringing in Teixeira, who singled, to make it a 6-0 game.
With the Yankees up six, there was no need to send David Robertson, so Matt Thornton took the ball and tossed a quick three up, three down to finish off the game, which took under three hours to complete -- a very rare occurrence for a Yankees-Red Sox game.
The series continues on Saturday with Tanaka Day, as Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound for the Bombers, going up against Jon Lester at 7:05 pm.