Pitching, Napoli shine as Red Sox lose to Yankees

The Red Sox lost their first game to the Yankees in 2013, but the 5-2 score doesn't tell the story. Ryan Dempster started the game, and gave the Sox three great innings, facing the minimum nine batters; he finished with two strikeouts and allowed one hit. Koji Uehara then came in for a 1-2-3 4th, followed by Andrew Miller striking out the side in impressive fashion in the 5th.

Miller's effectiveness came on his devastating slider, a pitch that will be important for him in solidifying a spot in the bullpen. Although they faced a very weak Yankees lineup (Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez were the only name-worthy starters), Boston's pitching was very impressive in the first five innings -- in fact, they only threw five balls in those five innings.

Joel Hanrahan was not as sharp, as he came in for the 6th and gave up three runs, although only one earned; Drew Sutton's two errors at third base led to two unearned runs. Hanrahan allowed two hits, two walks, and struck out one, but needed Junichi Tazawa to get him out of a bases loaded jam with a strike out. Andrew Bailey struck out the side in the 8th inning, but not before giving up a run on back to back doubles.

The Sox first got on the board in the top of the 2nd on Mike Napoli's first home run in a Red Sox uniform. Peter Abraham estimated Napoli's blast to center at 420+ feet and would have landed "5-10 rows beyond the wall just to the left of the triangle." We all knew Napoli had power, and could do serious damage to a team's pitching staff; however, it's nice that that pitching staff isn't Boston's

Other notable Red Sox offensive plate appearances:
- Will Middlebrooks walked in his first time up since injuring his wrist, and grounded into a fielder's choice in his second time up
- Dustin Pedroia and Stephen Drew both collected singled and went 1-3
- Daniel Nava didn't help himself in the position race for a bench spot by going 0-3

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