Yankees Swept by Red Sox, Eliminated from AL East contention
Last night, the Boston Red Sox honored a long-time rival who is about to hang up his pinstripes forever. Then they proceeded to lay a beat-down on his team, complete a three-game sweep, and officially eliminate them from contention in the American League East.
In a pregame ceremony, the Red Sox paid tribute to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera who is retiring at season’s end. Once the festivities were over, Mike Napoli homered in a three-run first inning to help Clay Buchholz breeze to a 9-2 victory over the Yankees. This loss eliminated the back-to-back AL East champion Yankees from winning the division a third time.
Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz only gave up two hits in six innings of work to pick up the win. Buchholz (11-0) has allowed five hits and zero earned runs in 11 innings since returning from the disabled list to lower his ERA to 1.51. He is the first Red Sox pitcher to win his first 11 decisions since Roger Clemens started 14-0 in 1986.
Picking up the loss for the Yankees was pitcher Ivan Nova (8-5). The Yankees will head north next for a matchup against the Blue Jays starting Tuesday, while the Red Sox start a home series against the Orioles Tuesday.
While the Yankees have had the hot hand this past week in the wild card race, this sweep did them absolutely no favors. They’re now three games back of the wild card spot behind the Tampa Bay Rays, the Texas Rangers (who are fading FAST down the stretch), the Cleveland Indians (0.5 games back), and the Baltimore Orioles (2.5 games back).
Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez left the game in the fifth inning with tightness in his calf and is day-t0-day. Joe Girardi was asked about Rodriguez’s condition after the game and he said “We’ll see what he says Tuesday.”
Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was ejected by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa for arguing a called third strike in the sixth inning. It was the first ejection of Napoli’s career. He may have been upset that he just broke a Red Sox franchise record for strikeouts in a season. The strikeout that he argued and was subsequently ejected for was his 178th of the season, breaking the previous mark held by Mark Bellhorn.
Yankees OF Alfonso Soriano was back in lineup after missing one game with a sprained right thumb and being scratched from Saturday’s game.