May 13, 2011: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4

191542.jpg

May 13, 2011: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4

By SeanMcAdam
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.

Player 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.

The Goat: 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: Bard strikes out Posada

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: 10-2

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

Curran's Sunday 4-pack: So, what HAS Tom Brady been up to?

Curran's Sunday 4-pack: So, what HAS Tom Brady been up to?

Six days – four quarters of football – remain in Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.
 
The fact is the Patriots are 3-0 and have gotten a long – and enjoyable – look at their quarterback depth behind Brady. Brady, meanwhile, has gotten a chance to shave one-quarter off the season-long wear-and-tear he takes.
 
But highlighting silver linings and pointing out there’s not much sand left in the suspension hourglass is no real consolation. Said one team source Thursday night, “It’s never going to go away.”
 
What’s Brady been up to? Mixing family time and working out. He’s routinely spent four hours a day training, I’m told, presumably with his body coach Alex Guerrero at TB12 Sports Performance at Patriot Place. Also, aside from his Sunday session with Wes Welker, Brady’s been throwing to young college players at undisclosed locations, eschewing the opportunity to bring in some of the “name” former players who’ve reached out and offered their services.
 
Spotted in Italy with wife Gisele Bundchen last week, Brady’s also been back home in San Mateo visiting with his family.
 
Speaking to two people close to him, I was told he succeeded in making peace with the time off and avoiding the creep of too much bitterness. I was also told he’s unbelievably motivated to return at a high level and wants his transition back to be seamless in terms of performance and conditioning. That last part is, of course, to be expected. But it will be interesting to see how Brady does perform out of the gates after a month’s forced exile.
 
NINKOVICH RETURNS, TOO

The lesser of the two suspended prodigal sons set to return next week – Rob Ninkovich – is no doubt going to benefit physically from the quarter-season vacation as well. And the defensive ends who’ve performed well in his absence – Jabaal Sheard and especially Chris Long – will do well to have Ninkovich back in the mix. Mention should also be made of Trey Flowers who has shown up in opponent’s backfields on a weekly basis. It depends on what your personal cup of tea might be, but through three games, Long seems to me a much better defensive fit for this team than Chandler Jones. Jones was the more explosive pass-rusher but Long’s ability in the running game, and his play-in, play-out impact in applying pressure on the tackle in front of him makes it seem so far as if he’s an upgrade.
 
NEW DEALS AHEAD?
 
Still no word on which Patriot may be in line for a new deal since the team restructured Devin McCourty and freed up some cap space.

Donta Hightower, Malcolm Butler and Jamie Collins have been seen as the most likely targets for extensions and a redo of Hightower at this point would whittle down his $7M cap number and possibly allow another extension to be executed for either Collins or Butler, as our Phil Perry pointed out.  Jabaal Sheard, meanwhile, is the Patriot who flies under the radar when extension talk starts. He may be every bit as important to the success of the Patriots defense as the other three.
 
REX WRECKS
 
The Bills are 0-2, the natives are beyond restless in Buffalo and the Cardinals are in Western New York on Sunday. The Bills are expected to play without wide receiver Sammy Watkins and are a team staring into the esophagus of 0-3 with a visit to the Patriots coming next week. Have a gander at the Bills Mailbag in the Buffalo News.  Seems like years since Rex was all giddy about the paint job on his new truck. It was less than 19 months ago.