- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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BOSTON -- In another wild night at Fenway, Ryan Dempster intentionally drilled Alex Rodriguez in the second inning, and then Rodriguez drilled a homer off Dempster in the sixth in the Yankees' 9-6 win. Rodriguez finished the night 3-for-4 with the home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Rodriguez is now hitting .319 in 47 at-bats this season.
What it means: The Yankees took two of three from the Red Sox to move 7½ games behind Boston in the AL East and six back in the wild card.
A-Rod drilled: Dempster intentionally nailed A-Rod in the second inning. Dempster threw his first pitch, an 89 mph fastball, low and behind A-Rod, causing Rodriguez to fall to the ground. After two inside pitches made it 3-0, Dempster nailed Rodriguez on the left elbow pad with a 92 mph fastball. Both benches cleared, and the bullpens emptied.
Girardi goes nuts: A livid Joe Girardi emerged from the Yankees dugout and went off on plate umpire Brian O'Nora and Dempster. Girardi was peeved at O'Nora for not tossing Dempster out of the game when it was so obvious he was throwing at A-Rod. Opposing managers, coaches and players often complain that such a warning is unfair to the side that has not done anything because it limits their pitchers from throwing inside. Plus, there was no doubt of Dempster's intention.
Girardi, who almost never swears, appeared to light up Dempster, calling him a couple of expletive-filled names that questioned the pitcher's toughness. For his troubles, Girardi was ejected. To read Wallace Matthews' initial news story that includes the video, click here.
The homer: In the sixth, with the Yankees down 6-3, Rodriguez drilled Dempster for a solo shot to center. It was a monster of a homer that Rodriguez clearly enjoyed. He slapped his hands around first, and he seemed to yell as he came around third. When he touched home plate, he seemed to mimic his friend David Ortiz's celebration by stopping at home plate and pointing to the sky with both hands.
It was his second of the season. If he hits 11 more and ties Willie Mays, he earns a $6 million bonus.
Rally starter: After A-Rod's homer, the Yankees went on to take the lead off Dempster. After two singles and a walk, Dempster was taken out for lefty Drake Britton.
Brett Gardner launched a bases-clearing triple into right center to give the Yankees the lead. Gardner appeared to be one of the most fired up Yankees when A-Rod was hit and looked the same way as he went into third.
Standing O: Dempster left to a standing ovation from the Fenway fans. His final line: 5⅓ innings, 7 runs (all earned) on 9 hits, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. Oh, and he hit a batter.
No ace: CC Sabathia had little for the Yankees. He gave up 6 earned runs on 7 hits in 5⅓ innings and failed to retaliate. In his sixth and final inning, he threw a 92 mph fastball to Jacoby Ellsbury high and inside. It is debatable if the pitch was on purpose, because there was a man on and the Yankees were up just a run. Sabathia will surely say it was not.
Another injury: Eduardo Nunez hurt himself in the four-run sixth. He hit a single and then landed awkwardly on the bag as he scurried back to first. He stayed in the game and advanced to third, but then was taken out with a tight right hamstring. Jayson Nix replaced him.
Mo like it: Mariano Rivera, pitching for the first time since he blew his third consecutive save a week ago, picked up the save. The Red Sox fans gave Rivera a standing ovation.
Rivera brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia batted. Saltalamacchia lined out hard to left. The game lasted four hours and 12 minutes.
On deck: Wally and I will have all the news from the clubhouse. Plus, Wally will chime in with a column. I'll be on with Robin Lundberg after 1 a.m. ET on 98.7 FM and on "Mike & Mike" on ESPN Radio on Monday at 9:15 a.m. ET. Plus, I'm sure there will be more around-the-clock coverage of you know who.
In the hole: The Yankees are off on Monday and then play four games in three days against the Blue Jays, including a day-night double-header on Tuesday in the Bronx.
BOSTON -- In another wild night at Fenway, Ryan Dempster intentionally drilled Alex Rodriguez in the second inning, and then Rodriguez drilled a homer off Dempster in the sixth in the Yankees' 9-6 win.