Logan beats Gonzalez, bullpen rolls

advertisement | advertise on newsday

BOSTON -- How confident was Boone Logan that he was going to get out Adrian Gonzalez, the major league's leading hitter, with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Friday night?

After two pitches in the three-pitch at-bat, Logan said he told himself, "He has no chance."

No chance? Gonzalez began the game hitting .356 overall and .303 vs. lefthanders. He led the majors in RBIs with 91.

No chance?

Yup. No chance.

Gonzalez looked as bad as a good hitter could when he waved at that third pitch, a slider in the righthanded batters' box, for strike three.

Logan -- called in to replace Bartolo Colon with the Yankees trailing 2-0 and Joe Girardi managing as if it were October and not August -- ended up as the winning pitcher when the Yankees scored three runs in the sixth.

Logan and his bullpen mates threw 41/3 scoreless innings as the Yankees moved into sole possession of first place in the AL East with their eighth consecutive win and second in 10 tries against the Red Sox.

"It's awesome," Logan said. "It's awesome when the whole bullpen goes in there and puts up zeros, especially against Boston, keeping a one-run lead from the sixth inning on. I'm proud of the guys. It's a good win."

It all started with that at-bat against Gonzalez. Fastball for a called strike one. Slider for a swinging strike two. Slider for a swinging strike three.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I went ahead and threw a first-pitch fastball," Logan said. "I could tell he wasn't looking for that pitch. After that, my confidence went through the roof. I was like, 'All right, I've got 0-1 on him.' When he made his first swing on that first slider I threw, I said, 'He has no chance. If I just keep the ball down in the dirt, he's going to swing over it.' "

After the Yankees took the lead, Logan (3-2) got two outs in the bottom of the sixth before allowing a double to Carl Crawford. Cory Wade retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a grounder to begin a stretch of eight consecutive outs by Yankees relievers.

Wade gave way in the seventh to Rafael Soriano, who made his first appearance in a competitive game since returning from the disabled list. The former eighth-inning man retired three in a row and had one strikeout.

"He's back," catcher Russell Martin said. "His velocity was back. His slider is super-sharp. He was electric."

David Robertson threw a 1-2-3 eighth and Mariano Rivera pitched around a one-out single by Crawford that could easily have been scored an error on Derek Jeter. Rivera struck out Saltalamacchia and Josh Reddick, both looking, to end it for his 29th save.

But the biggest out was the one by Logan. The only lefthander in the Yankees' bullpen got the call early. It turned out to be a good call by Girardi.

"I love being the only lefty in the pen," Logan said. "I know when a lefty situation comes up like that, it's going to be me."

You also may be interested in: