10:45 p.m., Red Sox 3-0: The rain has finally arrived.
It’s coming down in buckets at Yankee Stadium, and we’ll have a rain delay in the sixth inning. This marks the second delay of the game, as the contest started about 45 minutes late because of the threat of rain.
Prior to the precipitation falling, it started raining baseballs in the seats in right field. David Ortiz absolutely crushed a home run to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead, which is where we stand as Mother Nature laughs at us all.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Clay Buchholz looks fantastic right now.
The right-hander once again kept the Yankees’ offense in check, and he did so via two ground outs and a strikeout.
Kevin Youkilis grounded down to third base, and Ichiro Suzuki grounded down to Mike Napoli at first base.
Buchholz ended the inning by striking out Jayson Nix. Buchholz got him with a four-seamer, which has been excellent in this game.
Buchholz has four strikeouts thus far.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-0: Jose Iglesias isn’t going anywhere, folks.
Iglesias just keeps producing, and he did so with some unexpected power in the fifth inning. Hiroki Kuroda left his first pitch over the plate, and Iglesias drilled it into the left-field seats.
It was Iglesias’ second career home run, and he continues to show the Red Sox why he belongs in the majors. The Sox will have an interesting decision to make when Will Middlebrooks returns from the disabled list, but given Iglesias’ production all season, I can’t envision any scenario in which he’s sent back to Triple-A.
In fact, the bigger question surrounding Iglesias might be whether or not he could earn himself an everyday spot in the lineup if Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew continue their up-and-down ways.
I actually wrote about that very topic today, so if you’re into reading about Iglesias’ awesomeness, feel free to check out that story at the link below.
Daniel Nava, who had four hits out of the leadoff spot on Saturday, also singled in the fifth inning, but Kuroda ensured he didn’t go anywhere.
End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Clay Buchholz pounded the strike zone and cruised through the fourth inning.
Buchholz struck out both Mark Teixeira and Travis Hafner to begin the inning.
Teixeira fanned on a nasty split-finger, while Hafner went down looking at a beautiful cutter on the outside black. Buchholz needed just three pitches to take care of Hafner.
Vernon Wells made sure Buchholz didn’t strike out the side, but his ground ball to third base was easily taken care of by the slick-fielding Jose Iglesias.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox have opened up the scoring.
Dustin Pedroia led off the fourth inning with a single into center field. It was an excellent at-bat by Pedroia, who saw seven pitches before hammering a 3-2 sinker back where it came from.
Hiroki Kuroda, who has been sharp for the most part, then fell behind David Ortiz 3-0. Kuroda battled his way back to fill up the count, but Ortiz shot a single into right-center, which allowed Pedroia to go from first to third.
Pedroia came across with the game’s first run when Mike Napoli grounded softly to shortstop Jayson Nix. The Yankees initially thought about a double play, but the ball simply wasn’t hit hard enough.
Kuroda ensured that Pedroia’s run was the only one that crossed in the inning. The right-hander struck out Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia swinging. Salty’s at-bat was rather lengthy, so while he didn’t produce, he certainly helped add to Kuroda’s pitch count.
Kuroda has now thrown 74 pitches through four innings of work after a good set of at-bats by the Boston offense.
End 3rd, 0-0: We’re scoreless through three innings. The Red Sox flashed a little leather in the third.
Austin Romine singled into right field to get the offense going. Brett Gardner then tried to kick things up a notch, but his line drive was snatched out of thin air by Stephen Drew.
Drew even tried to double-up Romine after robbing Gardner of a hit, but Mike Napoli was unable to handle the throw in the dirt.
The Red Sox put the shift on with Robinson Cano at the plate with one out. Third baseman Jose Iglesias was pulled all the way over to the right side, and the move paid off.
Cano hit a chopper right at Iglesias, who kicked off an inning-ending double play.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Hiroki Kuroda has been sharp early on.
Kuroda retried the Red Sox in order in the third inning, and he didn’t really have any issues while doing so.
Jackie Bradley Jr., who had three hits on Saturday, flied out to center field, as did Daniel Nava. Kuroda then struck out Mike Carp to end the inning.
Carp, who has now fanned twice, chased a nasty splitter in the dirt. Catcher Austin Romine made a nice block, and he fired down to first base to finish off the inning-ending out.
End 2nd, 0-0: Ichiro Suzuki scooped up a two-out single in the second, but Clay Buchholz enjoyed an otherwise easy inning.
Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis grounded out to short and third base, respectively, before Ichiro’s single. Jayson Nix then ended the inning by going back to Stephen Drew at short.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox threatened to get on the scoreboard, but hot-hitting Jose Iglesias couldn’t provide a timely knock.
David Ortiz led off the inning with a sky-high popup to second base. Mike Napoli, who hit a grand slam in Saturday’s 11-1 win, then got the offense going with a single into left field.
Stephen Drew flied out to left, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia refused to go down as easy. Salty saw six pitches before eventually turning on a sinker on the inside corner. He yanked it into right field, sending Napoli from first to third.
Iglesias couldn’t come through with runners at the corners, though. He grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Robinson Cano walked with one down in the first inning, but he was the only hitter to reach against Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz started the inning by getting Brett Gardner to hit a soft ground ball down to first. Mike Napoli fielded it and ended up taking it to the bag himself. It wasn’t without some brief confusion, though. Napoli and Buchholz nearly collided near the bag, but Buchholz was able to literally jump out of the way.
Following Cano’s walk, Buchholz struck out Mark Teixeira. Teixeira has looked rusty in this series — his first since returning from an injury — so the Yankees are certainly hoping he picks it up a bit. Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter, but he can’t afford to have that be the case in June.
Travis Hafner then hit a fly ball down the left-field line with two outs. Daniel Nava gave chase over near the line, and he eventually made a basket catch up against the wall in foul territory.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Hiroki Kuroda did a nice job of cruising through the first inning.
Daniel Nava rolled over a splitter to first base for the first out. It looked like Kuroda had struck out Nava, but the Red Sox’ leadoff man actually got a piece of an 0-2 pitch down and out of the zone.
Kuroda did finish the job against Mike Carp. He froze Carp with a nasty pitch on the inside corner.
Dustin Pedroia, who always does a good job of controlling the outer half of the plate, reached out and poked one into right-center field. Brett Gardner glided in to make the easy play, though.
8:51 p.m.: We’ve got baseball. The action is underway at Yankee Stadium.
8:44 p.m.: What a strange “rain delay.” We’re nearing the first pitch, but it hasn’t rained. Oh, the wonders of meteorology.
8:19 p.m.: They’re taking the tarp off the field, so that’s always a good sign. Stay tuned. We should have baseball soon.
8:04 p.m.: The tarp is on the field at Yankee Stadium, so we’re looking at a delay. There’s no rain falling yet, but it’s supposed to begin rolling in soon.
7:52 p.m.: Shane Victorino is eligible to return on Wednesday, but the news surrounding the outfielder isn’t encouraging.
It’s beginning to sound like Victorino will need more time to heal before returning to the Red Sox, as he’s still not running at 100 percent.
” The one thing that we’re being cautious with here is that, based on experience of having him come right back [in April] and play successive games [following a back injury], he’s had a couple of those setbacks,” John Farrell told reporters in New York. “We want to be sure that there’s a gradual improvement, which he’s showing. To say that he’s going to go on a rehab assignment [Monday] or the next day is probably a little premature at this point. So we’re just being probably a little overly cautious, given what’s transpired.”
Farrell said that Victorino, who is on the DL with a pulled hamstring, has no issues swinging the bat. The issue lies solely in Victorino’s explosiveness, which is obviously a big part of the outfielder’s game.
6:44 p.m.: It’ll be interesting to see if Clay Buchholz experiences any ill effects from his layoff. It wasn’t real lengthy, but it’s the first time that we’ll get a glimpse of the right-hander since the AC joint issue.
Buchholz has been phenomenal thus far this season. He leads the American League with a 1.73 ERA, and he’s one of three undefeated pitchers with seven or more wins (joining Matt Moore and Max Scherzer). He’s also just the second Red Sox pitcher ever to go 7-0 or better with an ERA below 2.00 through his 1st 10 starts of a season — Sonny Siebert was the other, in 1971 (8-0, 1.62 ERA).
4:54 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury will once again be out of the Red Sox’ lineup, which means Daniel Nava will once again assume the leadoff duties.
Ellsbury, who injured his groin during Thursday’s win over the Phillies, will miss his third straight game because of the injury. Nava has been plugged into the leadoff spot in each of those games, and he even put together a four-hit performance on Saturday that included a three-run homer in the eighth inning.
Sunday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (34-23)
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Carp, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP (7-0, 1.73 ERA)
Brett Gardner, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Travis Hafner, DH
Vernon Wells, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jayson Nix, SS
Chris Stewart, C
Hiroki Kuroda, RHP (6-3, 2.39 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: What a difference a day makes.
The Red Sox’ bats were kept at bay by CC Sabathia in Friday’s series opener, and they responded by scoring 11 runs and banging out 18 hits in a convincing victory against Phil Hughes and Co. on Saturday. Boston’s win sets up a rubber match between the two teams, and it also ensured that the Red Sox will leave the Bronx will their divisional lead intact, as they enter Sunday’s contest with a two-game edge in the American League East.
Sunday’s series finale should be a doozy. Both clubs will be sending this season’s best to the mound, as Clay Buchholz and Hiroki Kuroda will square off on the national stage.
Buchholz enters Sunday’s game with a perfect 7-0 record, although he hasn’t pitched since May 22 because of an issue with his AC joint, which is located near the collarbone. He was scratched from his start on Monday, and then pushed back again later in the week, but the right-hander is ready to go. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball the last time he faced the Yankees during the season-opening series.
Kuroda is a huge reason the Yankees have enjoyed early-season success. He’s been their most consistent starter, and he enters the game with a 6-3 record and 2.39 ERA. He threw seven shutout innings against the Mets on Tuesday. The last time he faced the Red Sox on April 3 — the same game Buchholz defeated the Yankees — he exited in the second inning because of a bruised finger he suffered on a Shane Victorino line drive.
Sunday’s action is scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. Go enjoy the sun, but be sure to check back leading up to game time for some updates.