Yankees close road trip with rout of Red Sox|
BOSTON — All things considered, Joe Girardi will take the 4-3 road trip his team completed on Thursday night.
“Four and three? Two tough cities, Tampa and here, that’s pretty good,” the New York Yankees manager said after his team finished the journey with a 14-5 blowout of the Boston Red Sox.
“We started off on the right foot, then it got a little ugly in Tampa (two loud losses), we were 1-2 (against the Rays) and we bounced back nicely.”
Along the way, the first-place Yankees lost right-hander Ivan Nova for the season to Tommy John surgery. They also lost righty Michael Pineda to a 10-game suspension for the use of pine tar in Wednesday night’s loss — his early exit zapping the bullpen and forcing the Yankees to bring two relievers in from the minors on Thursday.
“I think you look at both (pitchers) but I think the important thing is we were 4-3 and obviously people have to step up,” Girardi said. “It’s hard to replace Nova. It is, but someone’s going to have to step up.”
The Yankees (13-9) took advantage of sloppy Boston defense and shoddy pitching to cruise to their eighth win in the last 11 games.
In capturing the rubber game of a three-game series, New York got the benefit of five errors, three wild pitches and a passed ball by the last-place Red Sox (10-13) to improve to 5-2 against the MLB champions this season.
Most of the defensive damage on a chilly night was done in the first three innings, when the Yankees took a 7-0 lead against losing pitcher Felix Doubront (1-3). Yankees starter CC Sabathia took it from there, striking out eight in six innings.
“I just wanted to go out and have a good outing. That’s what it’s all about,” said Sabathia (3-2, 1-1 against Boston). “I know we were a little bit taxed in the bullpen and the situation we’ve been in the past couple of weeks, but it felt good to go out and pitch good and get a win.”
Staked to the big lead, Sabathia gave up two runs in the bottom of the third but that was it.
Closer David Robertson, activated from the disabled list Tuesday, worked a perfect ninth.
Rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte stroked a pair of two-run hits, former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and three RBIs, shortstop Derek Jeter drove in two runs and first baseman Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer (his first of the year) in a 14-hit attack by the Yankees.
Things got so bad for the Red Sox that first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp pitched the ninth inning, the first time he’s pitched as a professional. He walked the first hitter, got a double-play grounder out of catcher Brian McCann, issued four more walks before retiring pinch hitter Kelly Johnson on a foul pop.
The five errors were the most made by the Red Sox in a game against the Yankees since Sept. 8, 1977, when that team made seven, according to ESPN Stats. It was also the most errors by a Red Sox team in a game since 2001 and they allowed five unearned runs in both losses to the Yankees.
“The sooner we get past this one the better,” said Boston manager John Farrell. “We need to execute at a higher level.”
And they need to get starting pitching. The Red Sox have been outscored, 71-33, in the first four innings of games. John Lackey rescued the staff on Wednesday, but Doubront sent things spinning again. Even with Lackey’s strong outing, the starters have allowed 26 earned runs in the last 33 innings in the last seven games.
Asked about turning this thing around, Farrell said, “It’s got to be led by our starters.”
Doubront, who tends to unravel when things get tough, lasted 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs, only three earned. He also had one of the errors and two of the wild pitches.
“Felix was erratic with his command and we contributed (to his troubles) on defense,” Farrell said.
NOTES: Yankees RHP Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball for his use of pine tar Wednesday night. … RF Shane Victorino returned from the disabled list to play his first game of 2014, RHP Alex Wilson returned to Pawtucket after one day in Boston. Victorino was 1-for-5. … The Yankees brought up RHPs Bruce Billings and Shane Greene, RHP Preston Claiborne and sent SS Dean Anna to Triple-A. … RHP Ivan Nova, moved from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list, will have Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday. … RHP Hiroki Kuroda faces Angels LHP C.J. Wilson in New York on Friday night. RHP Jake Peavy goes for Boston against LHP Mark Buehrle (4-0, 0.64 ERA), the Red Sox opening a brief three-game road trip in Toronto.