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Yanks tip their caps to Red Sox

            The Yankees left for Texas Monday still comfortably in first place and still in control of their own playoff run. They also left with renewed regard for Boston’s chances. The Red Sox hung on through three tense and sometimes wild innings for a 2-1 win and a split of the four-game series.

“No one has punched a ticket for the playoffs yet. There is no quit in anybody in this division or in this league,” Curtis Granderson said. “So no matter who the opponent happens to be, no matter what the record is, you’ve got to be ready to play.”

Granderson continued his own personal struggle this season, striking out in two key situations: against Jon Lester with no outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and against Jonathan Papelbon to lead off the ninth.

“You’ve got to continue to battle,” he said, adding praise for Daniel Bard and Papelbon, who combined for five big strikeouts in the final 2 2/3 innings.

            “They pitched well. Those guys in the eighth and ninth--well, the seventh, eighth and ninth, they did a great job,” Granderson said. “From top to bottom in our lineup, they were able to keep us all off balance. They got themselves in a couple jams but they were able to pitch themselves out of it.”

           There was some odd stuff late in this game. Marcus Thames’ liner to right centerfield in the seventh looked like it was going out, but it hit the top inches of the fence and stayed in the park for a double. There also was an unusual play right after that, when Austin Kearns hit a foul down the leftfield line. Ryan Kalish made a dash and stab at it—not unlike the one that Sandy Amoros of the Brooklyn Dodgers made in the 1955 World Series, only Kalish didn’t catch the ball.

            Still, the reprieve (Kearns reached as a hit batsman) didn’t help. “You’re going to fail more than you’re going to succeed,” Kearns said. “They got it done today and we didn’t.”

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