Yankees crack five homers off Buchholz in 6-2 win over Red Sox

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Yankees crack five homers off Buchholz in 6-2 win over Red Sox

BOSTON -- Friday was the 100th anniversary of the first game at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox went overboard in marking the occasion. They dressed the team in 1912 throwback uniforms, with no numbers on the backs. They brought back 209 former players, managers and coaches, culled from seven decades, to help celebrate.

Too bad they forget about the deadened balls from 1912. Clay Buchholz could have used them.

Stuck instead with the lively baseballs of the modern era, Buchholz became the second Red Sox pitcher in less than two weeks to surrender five home runs in a game. (Josh Beckett had achieved what was thought to be a once-in-a-season feat in the second game of the year in Detroit.) The homers took the air out of the party, as the Yankees cruised to a 6-2 victory that dropped the modern Sox' record to a depressing 4-9.

The first New York run came not via the long ball, but via a gift. Dustin Pedroia dropped leadoff hitter Derek Jeter's windblown pop up into short right field, allowing the Yankee shortstop to reach first. He went to second on a wild pitch and rode home on a single by Alex Rodriguez.

Then came the barrage.

Homers from Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez in the second, to up the lead to 3-0.

A homer from Chavez in the fourth that made it 4-1.

A homer from Rodriguez in the fifth that made it 5-1.

A homer from Russell Martin in the sixth that made it 6-2.

Luckily for Buchholz and the Sox, they were all solo blasts. But it didn't matter much, as the Yankee pitching tandem of Ivan Nova, Cory Wade, David Robertson, Cody Eppley and Mariano Rivera -- despite scattering 10 hits -- allowed only two Boston runs.

The Sox got their first run from a home run of their own, by David Ortiz leading off the second. The other came on doubles by Cody Ross and Mike Aviles in the fifth.

Star of the Game: Eric Chavez
Back-to-back home runs to center field, in the second and fourth innings, highlighted the Yanks' power barrage.

Honorable Mention: David Ortiz
The one bright spot in this so-far dismal Red Sox season, and a pleasant change from his slow starts of the last several years. His 2-for-4 performance lifted his average to .392, and he now has 2 homers and 10 RBI . . . putting him on pace for 27 HRs and 135 RBI in 2012.

Today's Goat: Clay Buchholz
Do you really need to ask why?

Turning Point(s)
The Red Sox had their chances to get back in the game, and their best shots came in back-to-back innings. In the second, after Ortiz' homer cut the Yankee lead to 3-1, Kevin Youkilis doubled to right. He got to third on an infield grounder by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but died there as Ross struck out and Jason Repko grounded out. Then, in the third with the score still 3-1, they got a one-out double from Ryan Sweeney. He didn't score, either; Pedroia flied out and Adrian Gonzalez struck out. It was, as the late, great Ned Martin would say, mostly silent movies after that.

Stat of the Day: 11-29
From the great Ken Tremendous: The Sox have lost 29 of their last 40 games dating back to last September. That's a 45-117 pace over 162 games.

Quote of the Day
"We want Tito! We want Tito!" -- the Fenway center-field denizens in the ninth inning.

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”