Buchholz hurls Sox past Yanks, 5-4

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Buchholz hurls Sox past Yanks, 5-4

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK -- For all their struggles in the first six weeks of the season, the Red Sox don't seem to have any trouble beating the New York Yankees.

The Sox held off the Yanks 5-4 Friday night for their third win in four tries this year. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Boston.

Clay Buchholz turned in his best start of the season, limiting the Yankees to just two runs in seven innings. Buchholz fanned seven and walked just one to earn his second career win against New York.

The Yankees scratched together a run in the eighth off Daniel Bard and had two runners in scoring position with two outs. But Bard got Jorge Posada on an inning-ending groundout to second.

Jonathan Papelbon allowed a run in the ninth, but picked up his sixth save.

Adrian Gonzalez knocked in two runs -- one with a solo homer into the upper deck in right, another on a sacrifice fly -- upping his league-leading RBI total to 31.

Kevin Youkilis provided a huge opposite-field homer to right in the seventh. Youkilis' homer came off Joba Chamberlain, against whom Youkilis has had a number of confrontations.

The only runs off Buchholz came in the fifth when catcher Russell Martin belted a two-run homer to left-center.

STAR OF THE GAME: Clay Buchholz

Buchholz entered Friday with a career ERA of 6.25 against the Yankees, but dominated them over seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits.

Buchholz used his fastball, change and cutter effectively, getting more swings and misses than he has in any start this season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Youkilis

The Sox were ahead by a run when Youkilis drove a pitch the other way to right for a two-run homer off New York reliever Joba Chamberlain.

Delivering the big blow off Chamberlain had to be extra satisfying for Youkilis, who has been a target of the Yankee reliever in the past. On numberous occasions, Chamberlain has come up and in around Youkilis's head, but Friday night, Youkilis had the last laugh.

The homer snapped a homerless stretch of 45 at-bats.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Joba Chamberlain.

Starter Bartolo Colon had limited the Red Sox to just three runs -- two earned -- in his start and the Yankees were looking for Chamberlain to keep them in the game in the
seventh.

Instead, after Colon gave up the go-ahead homer to Adrian Gonzalez, Chamberlain compounded things by giving up the two-run shot to Youkilis.

TURNING POINT

In the eighth inning, Jorge Posada got ahead of Daniel Bard 3-and-0 with two teammates in scoring position and the Yanks trailing by two.

But Bard battled back to a full count with Posada then reached back for something extra. On a 101-mph fastball, he got Posada to hit a chopper to second for the final out, stranding two.

BY THE NUMBERS: Dating back to the start of the 2010 season, the Red Sox are now 10-2 when facing former Cy Young Award-winning pitchers.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "He was very impressive...especially against a lineup like that.'' Terry Francona on Clay Buchholz.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles

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Jeter: Sox fans 'softer' and 'treat me better' after winning three titles

There was a time not too long ago when the New York Yankees would fear for their lives when they came into Boston.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that serious.

But go back to the early 2000s and the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees was about as heated as could be.

On one side was the Evil Empire: George Steinbrenner, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens,etc. On the other was the Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, etc.

Those were the days.

Then the Red Sox came back from three games down in the 2004 ALCS, beat the Yankees, and went on to win the World Series. Then they won the World Series again in 2007. And again in 2013.

All that winning changed the narrative around here. The frustration and anger of  years of disappointment was replaced by joy.

Welcome to Friendly Fenway.

Suddenly, players like Jeter could come to town and even go out to dinner without being heckled by diehard Sox fans.

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Jeter told Meyers -- a Red Sox fan -- about how Sox fans have gone soft since their team started winning.
    
“It doesn’t happen anymore,” he said about being heckled outside Fenway. “I can say this now because I’m retired. Boston fans have softened up since you guys have won. It pains me to say it, but . . . I won’t say it. I’m not happy you won. But you treat me a lot better since you won.”

Ainge reserving judgment on 'young kids' until workouts

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Ainge reserving judgment on 'young kids' until workouts

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to the top of this year’s draft board, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to how good any of the teens pegged to go 1-2-3 will be in the NBA.

While the Boston Celtics and most NBA teams have done their due diligence when it comes to scouting the top prospects, there’s a very good chance the player they see in the coming weeks will be in some ways different than the player they followed this past season in college or overseas.

LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandan Ingram are expected to be the top two picks after spending one season in college. The number 3 pick at this point looks like Croatian-born Dragan Bender who is the youngest player in the draft (he turns 19 in November).

“There’s a lot of change that happens between now and the draft, versus the college season and March to the draft,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “Especially with the young kids. There will be a lot of young kids at the top of the draft.”

In addition to the top three picks likely being teenagers, fellow 19-and-under players like Cal’s Jaylen Brown and Kentucky’s Jamal Murray who each left after their freshman years in college are also expected to fly off the draft boards within the top 10 picks.

Because of their youth and potential, there will be talk about what they can do at the next level in time.

But the calls as to what they still have to work on will be just as loud.

Ainge prefers to focus on what they can do and potentially how that translates at the next level.

“We tend to be more critical of kids and say they’re not this or not that and we see them two years later in the all-star game,” Ainge said. “I’ll reserve judgement on that now and look forward to the opportunity to meeting the kids at the top of the draft.”

As part of the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade in 2013, the Celtics will receive Brooklyn’s first round pick in next month’s NBA draft that will be no worse than the No. 6 pick in the draft but could potentially be the top overall selection.

Boston will consider an assortment of options with the pick from Brooklyn, such as keeping it, trading it away as part of a package for a proven all-star caliber player, or potentially moving down in the draft and acquiring even more assets (read: draft picks) for a later date.

Regardless of what the Celtics do, there’s a growing sense that they are trying to fast-track things as to get back into the hunt among the elite teams sooner rather than later.

“There’s plenty of urgency to try and do what works, like our Plan A, Plan B and Plan C,” Ainge said. “But you really have to be careful what you do with those assets. It doesn’t do any good to put a noose around our neck and say there’s all this urgency. Brad (Stevens) wants to win, Isaiah (Thomas) wants to win … we all want to win and we all want to be contenders.”

Cink takes leave from PGA tour as wife battles cancer

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Cink takes leave from PGA tour as wife battles cancer

Stewart Cink announces he is stepping away from competitive golf to be with his wife, Lisa, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.