It didn't take long for things to go awry in Yankee-land today.
A-Rod was hit with a line drive during BP and Lance Berkman is the guy who hit it. Quothe Berkman, oh so wryly: "Berkman's contributions to the Yankees have been, you know, not the greatest." Excellent sense of humor on that guy. Aim's not so good, though.
A-Rod was scratched from the lineup but X-rays on his shin came back negative. Make sure to pick up a Newsday tomorrow and read all about it. Because I wrote it, and it would make me happy.
All you Joe Buck haters take heart: the third-baseman was waving to Buck when he was hit. Because distracting a player who earns more than the GDP of some third-world countries while people with bats hit screaming liners in his general vicinity is always a good idea. And hey, doesn't A-Rod help do the PA announcement telling people to watch for bats and balls? Oh irony, you fickle mistress. A-Rod didn't speak after his injury.
Meanwhile, the Yankees continue to nurse their oh-so-slender grasp on first place. Today, it's ace C.C. Sabathia (13-5, 3.19 ERA) against John Lackey (10-6, 4.48 ERA). Lackey has been phenomenal post-All-Star break but gave up nine runs in his last outing which is, as we well no, not so phenomenal. Sabathia, meanwhile, has struggled mightily against the Red Sox this year, with no wins against the team in three outings. He's also lost his last two decisions.
Laura Albanese here to take you through it, inning by inning.
YANKEES WIN, 5-2.
Top 9th: Martinez grounds out to first, Beltre flies out to foul territory in right, and Lowell flies out to center to end the game.
Sabathia's Line: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4K, 1HR
Bottom 8th: Berkman grounds out, Grandy strikes out and Gardy gets called out on stirkes. Enter Sandman.
Top 8th: Red Sox go in order, with David Ortiz striking out for the third time today.
Bottom 7th: Delcarmen in to pitch. Tex and Cano both strike out swinging. Posada ground out to second to end the inning.
Top 7th: McDonald hits into a 6-4-3 double play. Red Sox sputter in the seventh.
Bottom 6th: Granderson singles to right, steals second, with an E-2 on the throw allowing Granderson to move to third with no outs. Gardner strikes out. Pena singles to right and Granderson scores. 5-2, YANKEES. He steals second. Jeter smokes a ball to left, but Hall tracks it down for the out. Swish flies out to left. Paid attendance: 49,716. Because you know you wanted to know. It's the highest paid attendance of the season. There, don't you feel informed?
Top 6th: Big Papi, who my collegue Cody Derespina informs me "isn't big at all...he's muscular," strikes out looking. Victor Martinez flies out to right. Beltre singles but the Sawx can't get anything going. Toronto defeates Tampa Bay, 17-11. Yankees could be getting some breathing room.
Bottom 5th: Pena grounds out to first and Jeter strikes out. Swish singles up the middle. Tex singles to left-center to put runners on first and third. Cano hits a sharp single to right to score Swisher. 3-2, YANKEES. Tex moves to third. Posada singles softly through the hole in right. Tex scores. 4-2, YANKEES. Cano moves to third. Posada steals second to put both runners in scoring position for Berkman. He grounds out weakly to the pitcher. The boos, they be loud.
Top 5th: Hall flies out to deep center. Ball hit by McDonald takes a bad hop for the E-5. He goes to first. Scutaro pops out to foul territory and Lowrie flies out to right.
Bottom 4th: Yankees go 1-2-3.
Top 4th: Web-gem calliber diving grab by Brett Gardner in left to retire Drew. The Sox go down in order.
Bottom 3rd: Lackey strikes out Swisher and Tex, but Cano singles. Posada grounds out to short.
Top 3rd: David Ortiz singles with one out, but gets thrown out on a force at second. The Red Sox go quietly in the frame.
Bottom 2nd: Lance Berkman walks, and Curtis Granderson drives him in with a triple to center. A one-out groundout to second by Ramiro Pena scores Granderson with the tying run. SCORE: 2-2
Top 2nd: Victor Martinez goes yard on a 3-1 offering from Sabathia, who hasn't allowed a homer since June 3 against Baltimore. 1-0, RED SOX. Adrian Beltre and Mike Lowell follow up with back-to-back doubles, and Beltre scores. 2-0 RED SOX. J.D. Drew strikes out and Bill Hall grounds out to the pitcher. Darnell McDonald grounds out for the final out.
Bottom 1st: Derek Jeter strikes out swinging, but Nick Swisher walks. Mark Teixeira grounds out to first but the ball is mishandled at short, allowing Swisher to second. Cano walks to put runners on first and second, but Jorge Posada grounds out to first to end the inning.
Top 1st: Jed Lowrie smacks a one-out single to right, but gets erased after David Ortiz hits into the double play to end the inning.