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

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?