Red Sox beat Yankees, 9-6, for first win of 2011


Red Sox beat Yankees, 9-6, for first win of 2011

By Art Martone

BOSTON -- For six games, they were they gang that couldn't shoot straight. On the rare occasions when they hit, they couldn't pitch. When they pitched, they couldn't hit. Bad defense? Boneheaded plays? Check, and check.

Then they came home. And everything changed.

Oh, they still had some pitching problems -- John Lackey's six-runs-allowed-in-five-innings performance was a blast from the (recent) past -- but the Red Sox had little else to complain about in Friday's 9-6 victory over the Yankees in the Fenway Park opener.

They got four shutout relief innings from Alfredo Aceves, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon. After going 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday and Thursday in Cleveland, they went 6-for-9 on Friday . . . and most of the damage came with two outs. Dustin Pedroia led the 12-hit attach with a home run and two singles, and Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia also had multihit games.

And when it was over, they were off the schneid. The Sox beat out the Rays in the race to avoid being baseball's last winless team.

The Sox' fortunes turned in the bottom of the second inning. The Yankees were holding a 3-2 lead when Pedroia came to bat with one run in, runners at second and third, and two out. It's the sort of situation the Sox had been squandering through the first six games, but Pedroia ripped a single to center, driving in Jacoby Ellsbury and Marco Scutaro and giving Boston a 4-3 lead.

It didn't stop there. They added two tack-on runs on RBI singles from Gonzalez and Ortiz, making it 6-3.

Lackey gave the lead back one run at a time, with the Yankees finally tying it on a home run by Alex Rodriguez in the fifth inning. But a two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the inning by Jarrod Saltalamacchia put the Sox ahead to stay, and Drew's two-run single in the eighth gave them breathing room.

Aceves, Jenks, Bard and Papelbon combined for four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief, with two walks and five strikeouts.

Art Martone can be reached at

Quotes, notes and stars: Location gets Buchholz in trouble


Quotes, notes and stars: Location gets Buchholz in trouble

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.



"When he's gotten in trouble, it's been a combination of location and pitches up in the strike zone. That was the case tonight. . . It's more general location than one pitch that he's getting burned on. '' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz's poor start.

"No disrespect to (Jace) Peterson, but you're wanting to force contact. He hasn't hit for a high average.'' - Farrell on Buchholz walking No. 7 hitter Peterson three times.

"When do you walk guys, you do your best to try to minimize the damage and I didn't do a good enough job of that.'' - Buchholz, who saw Peterson come around to score twice after his three walks.

"It's frustrating when you can't put your finger on what you need to do it, and when you need to do it and why. All I can do right now is learn from it and get better in these next couple of days.'' - Buchholz.

"I didn't hear anything. The play was right in front of me, so I couldn't see him say anything. I just assumed I was out.'' - Xander Bogaerts, who was ruled safe at second on a force play by umpire Joe West, but believing he was out, came off the bag and was tagged out in the first inning.



* Clay Buchholz has allowed five earned runs in four of his five starts this season.

* Heath Hembree pitched multiple innings for the fourth time this season and remains unscored upon in them.

* Over the last eight games, Dustin Pedroia is hitting .436 (17-for-39) with nine extra-base hits.

* All three of Chris Young's hit off lefthanded pitchers this season have been doubles.

* Hanley Ramirez (three hits, two RBI) has driven in a run in each of his last four games and six of his last seven.

* The Sox have scored in the first inning in eight of the last nine games.



1) Nick Markakis

The Braves right fielder had a four hit night and knocked in three runs.

2) Jhoulys Chacin

Atlanta's starter wasn't overpowering, but he limited the Sox to two runs over five-plus innings and earned the victory.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez broke out a bit at the plate with three hits, while knocking in the first two Red Sox runs.


First impressions: Another tough outing for Buchholz


First impressions: Another tough outing for Buchholz

First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves


Another night, another less-than-satisfactory start for Clay Buchholz. Since the end of their last homestand, the Red Sox are 6-2. Both of those losses were hung on Buchholz.

Buchholz wasn't horrendous - he did manage to pitch into the seventh inning and five runs in 6 1/3 isn't a shellacking.

But five runs to this Braves lineup is nothing to shout about, either, and Buchholz made matters worse by walking the No. 7 hitter -- Jace Peterson, who came into the game with a .205 average -- three times. Twice, Peterson came around to score.

In fact, the bottom third of the order was 3-for-7 with three walks.


Hanley Ramirez showed some progress at the plate.

Before the game, John Farrell noted that Ramirez had been expanding the zone of late, and working to correct the issue with hitting instructors Chili Davis and Victor Rodriguez.

Something apparently clicked, as Ramirez was 3-for-3 in his first three at-bats with two RBI.

The one thing that's been lacking for Ramirez: power. He came into the game with just one homer and a paltry .373 slugging percentage.


It wasn't much of a night for former Red Sox players.

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was 0-for-4, and for the second straight night, failed to catch a routine foul pop-up.

Meanwhile, reliever Alexi Ogando came in for the seventh inning and promptly allowed a leadoff single and a walk to the first two hitters he faced before recording two more outs and getting lifted for lefty Hunter Cervenka.


Turnabout is fair play for Chris Young.

Young got the start in left field over Brock Holt, despite the fact that Atlanta started a righthander (Jhoulys Chacin).

Young was 1-for-3 with a double, though that one hit came off lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty.

Then, in the eighth inning with righthander Jim Johnson on the mound for the Braves, John Farrell sent Holt up to pinch-hit for Young.

That marked the first time that Holt hit for Young; to the great consternation of many, Young had been sent up to hit for Holt three times in the first week or so of the season.

By the way: Holt grounded out to end the inning.