The Yankees went into this four game series against the Red Sox needing to make a statement because of Boston’s dominance when facing them last season.
That statement was made loud and clear as the Yankees won three out of four games against the Red Sox and finally got some production from two key players in the middle of the order. Carlos Beltran, who faced Boston in last year’s World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, went 6-15 with four extra-base hits (two of them being home runs) and five RBIs during the four games at Yankees Stadium, while catcher Brian McCann went 4-11 including a two home run performance in the third game as well as four RBIs of his own.
The two of them combined to drive in nine of the sixteen Yankees runs in the series. It also was a good weekend for center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who received his 2013 World Series ring from Red Sox manager John Farrell on Thursday and proceeded to continue his hot hitting, going 5-14 against his former team.
Having Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann at the top of their game is going to be huge for the Yankees, as it’s hard to know what to expect from the team’s aging stars, such as Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Alfonso Soriano.
Pineda, who has been the Yankees best starter so far this season, went six-plus innings while allowing only one run, four hits, and two walks while striking out seven Red Sox. Even though his success was slightly tarnished after television camera’s noticed that he had a substance on his right hand that looked a lot like pine tar, he still picked up his first win since 2011 when he was a Seattle Mariner, by a final score of 4-1.
CC Sabathia has been heavily scrutinized for his performance against Boston on Friday night, but in reality he pitched well and had one bad inning (the sixth), when he gave up a solo home run to Red Sox right fielder Jonny Gomes and three-run dinger to his former Indians teammate Grady Sizemore. Two mistakes ended up costing Sabathia and the Yankees a win.
Overall, Sabathia pitched seven innings and gave up four runs, six hits, two walks, and struck out nine (his highest total of the season so far).
Hiroki Kuroda had a nice outing on Saturday, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing four runs (two of which scored on a two run single by Mike Carp off of Yankees’ reliever Matt Thornton, who relieved Kuroda after he walked two of the three batters he faced in the top of the seventh) on six hits, and three walks. The Yankees emerged victoriously by the score of 7-4 and Kuroda got his second win of the season
Ivan Nova, who had allowed 9 runs in 9.1 innings pitched going into his start against the Red Sox on Sunday night, gave up only two runs in 7.1 innings pitched while allowing eight hits, no walks, and striking out four Red Sox to earn his second win of the season.
The Yankees bullpen was lights out as they struck out fifteen Red Sox and didn’t allow a run in 9.1 innings of work over during the four game series.
The one thing that might dampen the mood after Sunday nights triumph over Boston is that Francisco Cervelli will likely be placed on the disabled list after hurting his leg while running to first base in the fourth inning.
Though the Yankees surely would have preferred a sweep, they couldn’t have asked for much more.
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