The Boston Red Sox will try to sweep the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium today after a very busy weekend.
USA Today is reporting that both teams played the second game of the three-game series without much rest. The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the first game, 6-5, in a seven-hour, 19-inning epic. The first game ended at 2:13 a.m. EST and the second game was scheduled to start at 1:08 p.m. Only one player, Brock Holt, a Red Sox utility player, did not get into the marathon game. He did play in game two, did get four hits, and scored three runs in the Red Sox’s 8-4 victory.
The second game only took three hours and 13 minutes, far removed from the night before. The marathon game kept many players out of Saturday’s game, including Hanley Ramirez of the Red Sox and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees. One benefit for the Red Sox was getting Joe Kelly back, fresh off 15-day disabled list. His return gave the beleaguered Red Sox bullpen a rest.
Kelly, recovered from a sprained right biceps, struck out eight. He retired the final 17 batters he faced, starting by getting Didi Gregorius to hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the second inning, and left with an 8-1 lead in the seventh inning.
According to Boston.com, Red Sox head coach John Farrell was appreciative of Kelly’s performance.
“He was outstanding, particularly from the third inning on,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said in the clubhouse after the game, as seen on NESN. “He settled into a very good rhythm, a lot of strikes. He was efficient, enabling him to get through seven solid innings. But the sharpness to his slider was well above average. He held his velocity throughtout, and really gave us a shot in the arm by going seven innings on a day after last night.”
A tired Red Sox bullpen managed to get the last six outs. Alexi Ogando started the eighth inning and gave up three runs. Anthony Varvaro came in and finished the eighth. Robbie Ross finished off the ninth inning to seal the victory for the Red Sox.
Sunday’s three-game finale pits the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz against the Yankee’s Masahiro Tanaka. All Yankee eyes will be on Tanaka, who left his first start of the year after just four innings and eventually lost the game. If Tanaka continues to struggle, it may be because his right elbow has not completely healed yet.
[Image courtesy of Adam Hunger/USA Today]