Shaky fielding undermines Hughes, Yankees in Game 2
BOSTON -- Two errors -- one by newcomer Darnell McDonald and one by captain Derek Jeter -- undermined Yankees starter Phil Hughes in a 9-5 loss to Boston in the nightcap of a split doubleheader Saturday at Fenway Park.
The loss ended any hopes the Yankees had of a four-game weekend sweep after a redemptive effort by starter Freddy Garcia in their 6-1 afternoon win.
With the Yankees holding a 3-1 lead, Hughes was rolling along with one out in the fifth and Pedro Ciriaco on first when Daniel Nava lofted a fly to right-center. All-Star centerfielder Curtis Granderson called for it but flinched and dropped it when McDonald brushed past him, avoiding a collision at the last second. McDonald was charged with the error, and Ciriaco scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Punto that would have been the third out.
Granderson said he called for the ball but declined to shift any blame to McDonald for interfering with his attempt to catch it. "I just missed it," he said. "It hit off the end of my glove. I saw it the whole way. [McDonald] didn't touch me at all."
The official scorer gave the error to Granderson but changed it to McDonald. "The reason is one I never heard before -- that he 'caused' me to miss it," Granderson said. "He wasn't near my glove. He didn't move my glove. I should've caught it."
Hughes minimized the damage in the fifth but wasn't as lucky in the sixth. Adrian Gonzalez led off with a single and Jeter failed to handle Cody Ross' grounder for an error. One out later, Mauro Gomez singled to load the bases, and all three runners scored on a double by Ciriaco that gave Boston a 5-3 lead.
"Errors happen," Hughes said. "I was trying to grind through and get outs when I didn't have my best stuff. It was tough . . . We got a lead. I couldn't hang on."
In Game 1, the fielding was flawless in support of Garcia (3-2), who started the game with three no-hit innings and allowed six hits in 62/3 innings, recording a season-high five strikeouts.
That was quite a contrast with Garcia's last visit to Fenway on April 21, when he lasted only 12/3 innings and left trailing 5-0. One game later, he was consigned to the bullpen, where he rediscovered a fastball that had deserted him during a dead-arm period in April.
Said Garcia, "I was feeling good in spring training. The season started and something happened . . . You feel you have nothing . . . I'm not a bullpen guy. But I learned how to work in the bullpen, and I feel great."