Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 3, Yankees 0

June, 3, 2013
6/03/13
12:24
AM ET


NEW YORK -- Jose Iglesias punched his ticket to stay in Boston. David Ortiz punched a hole in the sky.

And all the buckets of rain dumped in the Bronx on Sunday night couldn't wash away a smashing return to the Boston Red Sox rotation by Clay Buchholz, still unbowed and unbeaten after a weather-shortened 3-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Iglesias, identified only the day before by manager John Farrell as a candidate to remain with the team even after third baseman Will Middlebrooks returns from the DL at the end of the week, made that decision even easier for the Sox by lining his first home run of the season into the left-field seats to lead off the fifth.

Since his recall May 24, Iglesias is batting .424 (14-for-33) and has been playing a near-flawless and occasionally spectacular third base, a position unknown to him until just days before. Middlebrooks will surely get his job back when he comes back, but Farrell has said the Sox will consider keeping Iglesias as a utility man, which could make a short-timer of Pedro Ciriaco.

Iglesias has displaced Ciriaco as the team's resident Yankee-killer. Counting the first three games of the season, when Iglesias started at short in place of the injured Stephen Drew, he is batting .545 (12-for-22) against the Bombers.

Wrapping the compact Cubano in an abrazo de hombre (as close to "man hug" as we can get in Spanish) in the dugout was Ortiz, who an inning later launched a high-arcing drive into the right-field seats, making sure he gave his 10th home run a lingering, loving look before he circled the bases.

Both home runs came off Hiroki Kuroda, the Japanese right-hander who had also been touched for a run in the fourth on singles by Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz, and Napoli's infield out.

Almost simultaneously with Ortiz's home run, the skies opened over Yankee Stadium, sending the nonsellout crowd of 43,613 fleeing for cover two batters later. Only Mike Napoli, who had singled and was on first base when umpires stopped play with one out in the sixth at 10:44 p.m., seemed oblivious to getting drenched, nonchalantly strolling back to the dugout.

The game, which already was scheduled for a late (8 p.m.) start for ESPN, then was delayed another 45 minutes before the first pitch while club officials waited for an earlier storm system to pass north of the stadium, resumed with relative alacrity. The sixth-inning delay lasted just 37 minutes, only to be stopped again just four minutes later by another downpour. This one had legs, accompanied by an enormous thunderclap, conjuring visions of a disenchanted Steinbrenner barking orders in the afterlife.

The first interruption lasted long enough for Farrell to decide not to send Buchholz back out for the home sixth, even though he had thrown only 71 pitches through the first five innings.

The Sox right-hander was pitching for the first time since May 22 because of some irritation in his AC joint, which is located at the tip of the shoulder, where it meets the scapula. Buchholz skipped his regular turn last Monday, was rescheduled this past Friday, then had that start pushed back two more days because of continued discomfort -- originally caused, he said, by falling asleep while holding his sleeping toddler resting on his shoulder.

The targets of Buchholz's lullaby Sunday night were Yankees bats. The Sox right-hander gave up an infield single to Ichiro Suzuki in the second, and a ground-ball single to the Yankees' No. 9 batter, Austin Romine, in the third. He also walked Robinson Cano on a full count in the first. Those were the only Yankees base-runners in his five innings of work, and none of them advanced beyond first base.

Buchholz was replaced by Andrew Miller, who was completing his warm-up pitches when play was stopped for a second time.

Buchholz is now 8-0, his ERA a major league best 1.62. He becomes the second Sox pitcher since Sonny Siebert in 1971 to go 8-0 or better with a sub-2 ERA. Siebert was 8-0 with a 1.62 ERA.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, meanwhile, had replaced Kuroda with lefty Boone Logan.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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