Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 3, Yankees 2
July, 29, 2012
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com
NEW YORK -- Ejections can make for strange bedfellows. And, yes, they can sometimes energize an entire team.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and pitcher Josh Beckett, who have not exactly been in lockstep this season, were both ejected Sunday night in the 10th inning, when plate umpire Brian O'Nora ruled that a pitch from Yankees reliever David Robertson found wood, not flesh, when Will Middlebrooks squared to bunt.
O'Nora's judgment may have been impaired by the fact that he tumbled to the ground as well after the ball struck him too. Middlebrooks was aghast that he wasn't given the base, showing the mark on his wrist as evidence, but the umpiring crew did not budge. They turned a deaf ear as Valentine grew progressively agitated, O'Nora finally running him, Valentine's third ejection of the season.
Moments later, third-base umpire Tom Hallion ejected Beckett, one of a number of Sox players loudly protesting the call from the dugout.
Middlebrooks made it a happy ending for the Sox when he singled on the next pitch, sending Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had walked, to second base. Ryan Sweeney then grounded into a force play, but Pedro Ciriaco flared a ball off his fists over a drawn-in infield to bring home Saltalamacchia from third with the winning run.
It was the second straight game the Red Sox won on their final at-bat. The Yankees had rallied to tie it in the eighth on a double by Andruw Jones off Andrew Miller and a first-pitch single off Alfredo Aceves by Russell Martin, who had homered the previous inning for New York's first run.
The Sox, taking the rubber game of the series, won despite hitting into five double plays. Seven times they placed the leadoff man on base against starter Hiroki Kuroda but scored only in the second, on Sweeney's two-run double, and the game-winner in the 10th.
Rookie Felix Doubront was terrific in his Yankee Stadium debut, allowing just four hits, striking out eight and surviving five walks, all in the first four innings. Doubront was especially tough on the top third of the Yankee order -- Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira -- holding them to a combined 0-for-8 with five K's and a double play.
Aceves, after blowing the save, recorded his second win of the season, striking out pinch hitter Raul Ibanez in a nine-pitch duel with the tying run aboard after he hit Nick Swisher with two outs.