Tonight was a really great night if you had nowhere else to be and love offense. The Yankees sent nine men to the plate on their way to a five-run first inning against Josh Beckett. Unfortunately, Hiroki Kuroda gave that lead away with a five-run bottom of the first himself. The combined ten runs were the most in the first inning in Yankees vs. Red Sox history. It wasn't pretty and I'm sure Joe Girardi used more of his bullpen than he would have liked with a doubleheader tomorrow, but it's always a little easier to stomach when the end result is a win.
With absolutely no help from home runs, the offense came through for six runs off Beckett and four off the Boston bullpen. Alex Rodriguez reached base four times on a HBP and three singles. He managed to pad his lead as the team's stolen base leader with two swiped bags. The bulk of the Yankee runs were driven in with the bat of Mark Teixeira, who knocked in four with a bases loaded single and a two-run triple that would have almost certainly been a home run in most other parks.
Curtis Granderson reached base three times via a single, triple, and a walk, while Robinson Cano continued to come through offensively with a bases loaded walk and a ground-rule double. It seemed like tonight might be the perfect time for Russell Martin to break out of his 0-30+ slump, but he could only work a walk. The rest of his at-bats were painful to watch.
It's hard to fault Hiroki Kuroda for not having his best stuff tonight after his amazingly impressive June, but he didn't really look sharp at any point. Kuroda gave up seven runs (six earned) on ten hits in 5.2 innings of work. A fielding error by Eric Chavez in the first inning certainly didn't help matters, but Girardi needed Kuroda to stay out there and battle without his best stuff and that's what he did. With the way the offenses on both sides were working, he just needed to keep them close.
The only other Boston run came on a home run by Cody Ross off of Boone Logan that may not have yet landed. When Boone serves them up, they seem to go a long, long way. Logan was followed by the normal procession of Cody Eppley and David Robertson before Rafael Soriano came on for his first four out save since 2007 with Atlanta. Soriano struck out two and put an end to what was an extremely lengthy game, even by Yankees/Red Sox standards. Obligatory Joe West comment here.
Tomorrow is the much-anticipated day/night doubleheader with Freddy Garcia and Franklin Morales set to face off in the day game, while Phil Hughes and Felix Doubront square off in the night game on FOX.