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Major League Baseball: Bosox top Yankees in ninth

Sunday, June 29, 2014
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— Mike Napoli stung Masahiro Tanaka by hitting a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees, 2-1, Saturday night.

Napoli had struck out in his previous two at-bats before lining an opposite-field drive into the first row of the seats in right. Napoli, who also homered off Tanaka at Fenway Park in late April, raised his right arm as he rounded first base.

The Red Sox won for just the third time in nine games. The victory made the defending World Series champions 37-44 at the midpoint of the season — the first time since 1997 that Boston has been under .500 at the halfway mark.

Lester (9-7) held the Yankees hitless until the sixth. He gave up an unearned run and five hits in eight innings, striking out six and walking two.

Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save in 18 chances.

Tanaka (11-3) took the hard-luck loss. The top winner in the majors and AL ERA leader allowed seven hits in a complete game, striking out eight and walking one.

The matchup between Lester and Tanaka shaped up as a pitchers’ duel, and it certainly was. Lester improved to 13-6 lifetime against the Yankees, including a loss to Tanaka in Boston on April.

Lester and Uehara came through for a Red Sox team that has scored three runs or less in 12 of its last 14 games.

An odd sequence ended the Yankees’ eighth. Jacoby Ellsbury tried to steal second with two outs, and catcher David Ross’ throw skipped into center field. As Ellsbury headed toward third, however, the crowd began to realize strike three had already been called on Mark Teixeira.

Earlier in the inning, second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a nifty pickup and glove flip to start a double play on Derek Jeter.

Ross homered in the Boston third, launching a drive far over the left-field fence. Tanaka muttered to himself after the ball cleared the wall.

Tanaka has demonstrated a deft touch at escaping jams, and did it again the next inning after Pedroia led off with a single and David Ortiz followed with a double.

Tanaka struck out Napoli and Stephen Drew, then got Xander Bogaerts on a grounder to keep it at 1-1.

Lester, who threw a no-hitter against Kansas City in 2008, held the Yankees hitless until Brett Gardner bounced a leadoff single up the middle in the sixth. That preserved a very long streak — no one has pitched a complete-game no-hitter vs. the Yankees since Hoyt Wilhelm in 1958, although six Houston pitchers combined to do it in 2003.

BOSTON NEW YORK

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Holt rf 4 0 1 0 Gardnr lf 2 0 1 0

Nava lf 4 0 0 0 Jeter ss 3 0 1 1

Pedroia 2b 4 0 3 0 Ellsury cf 4 0 2 0

D.Ortiz dh 4 0 1 0 Teixeir 1b 4 0 0 0

Napoli 1b 3 1 1 1 Beltran dh 4 0 0 0

Drew ss 4 0 0 0 ASorin rf 3 0 0 0

Bogarts 3b 3 0 0 0 ISuzuki ph 1 0 0 0

BrdlyJr cf 3 0 0 0 McCnn c 4 0 0 0

D.Ross c 3 1 1 1 BRorts 2b 3 1 1 0

Solarte 3b 2 0 0 0

Totals 32 2 7 2 Totals 30 1 5 1

Boston 001 000 001—2

New York 001 000 000—1

E—Drew (2). DP—Boston 1, New York 1. LOB—Boston 4, New York 6. 2B—Holt (15), D.Ortiz (11). HR—Napoli (10), D.Ross (4). CS—Gardner (3). S—Gardner.

IP H R ER BB SO

Boston

Lester W,9-7 8 5 1 0 2 6

Uehara S,17-18 1 0 0 0 0 2

New York

Tanaka L,11-3 9 7 2 2 1 8

HBP—by Lester (Solarte).

Umpires—Home, Andy Fletcher; First, Mark Wegner; Second, Chris Segal; Third, Mike Winters.

T—2:47. A—48,433 (49,642).

 
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