Friday night's meltdown didn't match the epic proportions achieved the last time these teams met, when the Yankees scored 14 runs in the seventh and eighth innings off Sox relievers to erase what had once been a 9-0 Sox lead.
But the Bombers spoiled what would have been a dandy comeback story for the Sox by scoring four runs in the seventh, an inning in which they resurrected some good old-fashioned hate, a quality that had gone missing in recent years (except, of course, when Kevin Youkilis was at the plate).
Mark Teixeira has had no use for Vicente Padilla ever since he homered off Padilla in consecutive at-bats and was drilled by Padilla the third time he came to the plate. You say that was seven years ago? No matter. They wound up teammates for two seasons in Texas, where Padilla continued to throw at people and Teixeira asked him to knock it off. Padilla ignored him, wound up being let go by the Rangers, and has hit Teixeira twice more with pitches, in 2009.
Teixeira had had just three more plate appearances against Padilla until Friday night, when he came to bat with two on in the seventh and drove a full-count pitch into the center-field triangle for a two-run triple, wiping out a 7-6 Red Sox lead. Teixeira, who fixed Padilla with a stare from third, then scored on a double by Raul Ibanez to make it 9-7, and Eric Chavez's single off Scott Atchison gave the Yanks a three-run lead.
Until Teixeira's triple, Padilla had allowed just one of 19 inherited runners to score. Until Ibanez's hit, he had made 13 straight scoreless appearances.
A day that got off to a lousy start -- the Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list with a hyperextended thumb that could sideline him for a month -- also ended on a sour note, the Sox falling 8 1/2 games behind the Yanks in the AL East after their fourth straight loss and sixth in their past eight games.
It didn't help that Sox starter Josh Beckett spotted the Yankees a 5-0 lead in their first at-bat, the Yankees collecting four hits, a hit batsman, a bases-loaded walk and two sacrifice flies in their first eight plate appearances.
The Sox, however, roared back with five runs of their own in the bottom of the first off Hiroki Kuroda, three scoring on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 17th home run, a new career high. They matched the Yankees' run in the second, then took the lead in the fifth when Adrian Gonzalez singled, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a base hit by rookie Mauro Gomez, making his second start at third base.
Beckett, somehow, survived five innings and was in line for a win, something that had happened only once before in 33 starts in which he had allowed six earned runs or more. Make that one win in 34, as the bullpen was unable to hold the lead.
Cody Ross hit his 13th home run in the seventh to cut it to 10-8, but Derek Jeter made a nice play in the hole to short-circuit a potential uprising later in the inning. A two-out single by David Ortiz, who was presented a plaque pregame by Mayor Thomas Menino for hitting his 400th home run, and a walk to Ross, put the tying runs on base in the eighth, but Gonzalez grounded out to end the threat.
Both teams will have to sleep fast, with a day-night double-header scheduled to begin at 12:35. Neither team saved its bullpen for the 18 innings of exercise on deck. The Sox used five relievers Friday, the Yanks four.