Doubront, Ciriaco and Aceves lead Red Sox to 10-inning win over Yankees

Doubront, Ciriaco and Aceves lead Red Sox to 10-inning win over Yankees

Doubront, Ciriaco and Aceves lead Red Sox to 10-inning win over Yankees

By Jeff Louderback

The Red Sox squandered a 2-0 lead, scored what would be the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning when the Bobby Valentine and Josh Beckett were ejected for arguing with the umpires and saw Alfredo Aceves put the tying run on base when he hit Nick Swisher with two outs in the bottom of the 10th before striking out Raul Ibanez to end the game and secure a 3-2 victory.

Sound exhausting? It was just your typical drama-laced Red Sox and Yankees clash.

On Sunday night, though, it was the Red Sox needing a victory more than the Yankees, which fell to 60-41 and still hold a 7.5 game lead over Baltimore and Tampa Bay in the American League East. Teetering on falling out of contention for a post-season berth, Boston returned to .500 at 51-51, climbed within 9.5 games of the Yankees and trimmed the Angels’ lead in the race for the second wild card spot to four games.

Felix Doubront, Pedro Ciriaco and Alfredo Aceves were the primary players who helped get the win, which allowed Boston to take two out of three from the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

The 24-year-old Doubront has saved his finest performances this season for the Yankees. On April 21, in the infamous game when the Yankees scored 14 runs against the Red Sox bullpen to erase a 9-1 deficit, Doubront limited New York to one run and four hits over six innings. On July 7, he earned the win after holding the Yankees to three runs and four hits in 6.1 innings. On Sunday, he again permitted just one run and four hits in 6.1 innings, his shutout spoiled by Russell Martin’s home run to lead off the seventh.

Doubront’s chance for a win was erased in the bottom of the eighth when Andrew Miller (who retired the last two hitters in the seventh) dismissed the first two batters he faced before coughing up a double to Andruw Jones. Aceves entered, and he permitted a game-tying single to Martin.

Aceves sat down the Yankees in order in the bottom of the ninth to set up an intense 10th inning.

David Robertson walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia to open the frame. Moments later, on an 0-1 offering, Will Middlebrooks squared to bunt, but Robertson’s fast ball veered in on the Red Sox rookie, apparently glancing off him and also striking home plate umpire Brian O’Nora.

Middlebrooks pulled himself off the dirt and headed for first base, but O’Nora ruled the pitch a strike. Middlebrooks protested, showing O’Nora his wrist, but the call stood, drawing on irate Valentine from the dugout. Valentine and Beckett were tossed, and Middlebrooks singled one pitch later, moving Saltalamacchia into scoring position. That set the stage for more Ciriaco heroics.

The 26-year-old rookie, who has bashed Yankees pitching in his short tenure with the Red Sox, blooped a single that scored Saltalamacchia and gave Boston a 3-2 advantage. It was Ciriaco’s only hit of the night and lifted his average to .349. He had three hits on Saturday, including an RBI triple in the top of the ninth that gave the Red Sox a 7-6 lead in a game they would win 8-6.

Aceves logged a scoreless ninth, but not before he put the tying run on base with two outs when he hit Nick Swisher. The Red Sox closer sealed the victory by striking out Raul Ibanez in a nine-pitch at-bat. Aceves improved to 2-6 with a 2.1 inning stint.

By Jeff Louderback
Monday, 30 Jul 2012


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