|Despite going 0 for 5, Dustin Pedroia marked his 30th birthday with a win|
over New York at Fenway on Saturday (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer
Usually, it’s the birthday boy who gets the spanking.
However, on the occasion of Dustin Pedroia’s 30th, his teammates put New York over their knee, handing the Yankees a 6-1 loss at Fenway.
While Pedey went 0 for 5 at the plate, he still managed to do his part on the diamond, recording eight assists and two putouts as his team posted 14 hits to hold off a hot gang from Gotham that had scored 39 runs over their last four games — including a 10-3 win over Boston on Friday.
After losing his last four decisions, John Lackey was steady as he goes on the bump for Boston, scattering six hits and one run over 6.2 innings despite walking three and only striking out one to move to 8-10 on the year and lower his ERA to 3.22.
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda was not nearly as stable, allowing 11 hits in 5.2 frames to fall to 11-8 on the year. Kuroda was atypical for the Yankees: over his previous seven outings Kuroda had only allowed a combined five runs, but ended up allowing five in this one.
While he wasn’t eligible for the save, closer Koji Uehara came on in the ninth, striking out two and getting Chris Stewart to pop to third to end the game.
Jacoby Ellsbury had the hot bat for Boston, going 3 for 5 with two RBI, while individual runs were also tallied by David Ortiz, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Will Middlebrooks.
The win moved the Sox to 73-52 and gave them at least a brief one-and-a-half-game lead on Tampa Bay in the American League East Division, with the Rays set to take on Toronto later in the evening.
Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:
1) Lyle-Style: In the fourth inning with one out and men on the corners for Boston, Drew hit the ball to first baseman Lyle Overbay, who attempted to spark a double play instead of turning and cutting down Ortiz at the plate. Result? Overbay threw high to second, allowing Mike Carp to slide in safely, Drew enough time to reach on the return throw to first and Ortiz to score the first run of the game. 1-0 Sox.
2) Up The Middlebrooks: Still in the fourth and after Carp and Drew advanced to third and second, respectively, on a double steal, Will Middlebrooks — batting 9 for 21 since being recalled from Pawtucket — ripped a hard single past the mound and into center to push Drew to third and score Carp for a 2-0 Boston lead.
3) A Salt And Battery: With a 3-1 lead in the sixth, Saltalamacchia extended his hit streak to seven games with a single to left, scoring Daniel Nava from third for a 4-1 lead on the ninth pitch of his at-bat against Kuroda.
4) I Love It When You Call Me Big Papi: In the seventh inning, Ortiz crushes a pitch off reliever Adam Warren for a solo shot to deep center — his 24th long ball of the season and his 425th career jack, giving Boston a 6-1 advantage.
Tomorrow night the Sox will aim to claim the rubber match of the three-game set when Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.50 ERA) faces CC Sabathia (10-10, 4.66 ERA). First pitch is set for 8:05 p.m. EST.
Twitter: @jan_doh Jan-Christian Sorensen 8/17/2013 08:07:00 PM Tweet