It was an historic night at Fenway Park on Sunday night, as the Red Sox swept the Yankees, 7-6, in an exciting game at Fenway, which capped an exciting three-game weekend between the ancient rivals.
The history was made in the third inning, as with two outs, Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek all hit consecutive home runs off Yankee starting pitcher Chase Wright. They were all solo shots, but all four were bombs, very hard hit homers. Wright had pitched decently for 2 2/3 until he started getting the ball up, and paid the price. It was the first time since 1964 that an AL team had hit four consecutive home runs. (It was done in the NL last year by the Dodgers, and ironically, Drew hit one of the homers.) It was also the first time the Red Sox hit four consecutive home runs in an inning in team history.
The game was a seesaw battle, as the lead kept changing hands. Lowell hit his second homer of the night to seal the deal, a three-run shot that was the difference in the seventh. Dustin Pedroia made a diving catch to keep the lead at 7-6 to end the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon continues to be one of the game's best closers, as he shut New York down in the ninth, getting Alex Rodriguez (aka Mr. April), to ground out to third with a man on to end it. (Didn't you just know that Rodriguez would face Pap to close it out?)
Manny Ramirez had three hits and Jason Varitek had a great weekend, as he appears to be coming out of his doldrums. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch 7+ innings, but was not as dominant as his first three starts, and allowed all six runs the Yankees scored. But he got the win, and finally got some run support. (The Sox scored only five runs in his first three starts.)
The Red Sox starters didn't have the best weekend, but the Red Sox won all three games, and came from behind to win all of them. They are finding ways to win and that is always a good thing. The Yankees clearly have bullpen problems, as Joe Torre once again used Andy Pettitte in relief for one inning. He once again used Scott Proctor, who had nothing and gave up Lowell's second homer. If the Yankees don't get better results from their pen, they won't make to October, even if they score 1000 runs this year.
But the Sox continue to get excellent results from their pen, as the starters continue to give them lots of innings, most being quality innings. The Red Sox bullpen gave up just one run in the three games, while the Yankees pen got raked over the coals. As I have continued to say until I am blue in the face: it all comes down to pitching, and the team that pitches better will have the best chance in October.
It was the first Red Sox sweep over the Yankees at Fenway Park since September 1990. It's only April, but it's always a great night to see the Red Sox congratulating themselves on the Fenway infield after a win, and a weekend, like this.
Especially when the team in other dugout has "NEW YORK" on the front of their jerseys.