The Red Sox administered a 13-9 beating at the Stadium Saturday afternoon in front of 49,046 fans who by mid-game seemed too drained from yet another unsightly performance by Yankees pitching to even boo.
Then, after Derek Jeter was taken out of the game in the sixth inning, there was the sobering news that Joe Girardi didn't think he looked "comfortable" running out a single on his surgically repaired left ankle.
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General manager Brian Cashman said afterward that Jeter was at the hospital for a "precautionary" CT scan to make sure "there's nothing going on that should be concerning."
Results were negative, the club later said, but Jeter appears a long shot at best to be in the lineup Sunday.
The Yankees (75-67), who remained 2½ games behind the Rays for the American League's second wild-card spot but fell 11/2 games behind the Orioles and Indians, will try to avoid a four-game sweep this afternoon when Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99 ERA) goes against lefthander Jon Lester (13-8, 3.88).
The Red Sox have amassed 34 runs and 45 hits, including nine home runs and nine doubles, off Yankees pitching in the three games. In Boston's last four games, the numbers are 54 runs, 64 hits and 17 home runs.
"They're not missing pitches," Girardi said of the first-place Red Sox (87-57). "When they came in, they were swinging the bats extremely well, and they're continuing to do that."
The Yankees did have 12 hits and made things somewhat interesting after falling behind 12-3 in the fifth. It is the first time in franchise history that the Yankees have lost three straight games when scoring at least seven runs in each game, according to Elias. The Red Sox already had beaten them by 9-8 and 12-8 scores. The Yankees led 8-7 after eight innings and 8-3 after six innings in those games but never caught up Saturday after Mike Napoli's two-run homer in the second.
"Offensively, we're putting up a lot of points on the board," Cashman said. "It's hard to say that you score  runs in three games and we've lost all three. Our pitching, which has been carrying us, is obviously an issue for us right now."
Lefty David Huff, who quickly became a fan favorite because he has pitched well in relief and his name is not Phil Hughes, proved not to be the answer this time.
Making his first start since being acquired off waivers from the Indians May 25, Huff allowed eight hits and was charged with nine runs in 31/3 innings. Two of the hits were prodigious home runs -- the first of Napoli's two homers and a three-run shot by Jonny Gomes in the third that made it 5-1.
"To have that happen after the way I had been pitching is just embarrassing on my part," said Huff, 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in nine relief appearances with the club.
Girardi would not say who -- Huff, Hughes or another option such as Adam Warren -- will take the mound Thursday in Baltimore. "I haven't made any decisions," he said.
The Yankees scored four runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Brett Gardner and RBI singles by Jeter and Alfonso Soriano to drive John Lackey (seven runs and eight hits in 52/3 innings) from the game.
Mark Reynolds' two-run double in the eighth made it 12-9, but Napoli responded with his second homer, a solo shot in the ninth off Brett Marshall.
Napoli went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, making him 18-for-50 with six homers and 18 RBIs against the Yankees this season. Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts also had a two-run homer off Jim Miller. It's as if every Red Sox player is swinging the bat that way in this series.
"We haven't pitched too well in the last three games," Girardi said. "But that can change quickly. The one thing that has helped is Tampa has struggled as well. Up until this point, we hadn't really lost any ground. But we have to turn it around. Bottom line is we have to pitch better because we are scoring some runs. We have to figure out how to get them out."