Another Yankees series at Fenway, another marathon, headache-inducing game.
But at least the Red Sox won this one.
Josh Beckett had nothing, giving up 8 runs in 5+ innings. And what in the name of Grady Little was Terry Francona thinking when he left Beckett in to face Judas when he walked Derek Jeter to start the sixth with a two-run lead? I love Tito, and I always think he's the best Red Sox manager in my lifetime, but that left me scratching my head.
But A.J. Burnett also had nothing, and also gave up 8 runs in five innings. The Yankees bullpen is beat up and Joe Girardi left him in to take a beating. Burnett was great for the first three innings, and the Yankees gave him a 6-0 lead. But Jason Varitek took him deep for a grand slam to make it a ballgame again. Burnett got really rattled after a couple of close pitches on J.D. Drew were not called strike three and he wound up walking him.
After Tek's blast, the slugfest was on. The Sox took the lead, and then New York tied it at 8. the Red Sox got the lead back at 9-8, but then Dustin Pedroia made two mistakes that cost the Red Sox runs. He tried to tag up from first on David Ortiz' sac fly and was thrown out easily, and then he let a grounder go through his legs in the seventh that gave New York the lead again at 10-9.
But then, Mike Lowell (pictured) took over.
He blasted a three run shot into the Monster seats in the bottom of the seventh to make it 12-10, and then with the score 13-11 in the eighth and the bases loaded, he cleared the bases with a shot off the Monster to put the game away at 16-11. Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth to close it out, a 4 hour and 21 minute game that never seemed to want to end.
That makes two straight devastating losses for the Yankees in Boston. It was the first game the Yankees have blown a six-run lead against the Red Sox since 1968. They have now allowed a staggering 38 runs in the last two Saturday games they have played (both for a national TV to witness). They are also the bottom team in the AL in ERA, at a truly putrid 6.41.
The Red Sox have now won nine straight, and go for the sweep tonight at Fenway with Justin Masterson taking the mound.
BTW, to read yet more Mariano Rivera-ass kissing from the Daily News' Mike Lupica, go here.