Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

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Red Sox right Tuesday night's wrongs in win

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON Beating the Yankees, 9-5, Tuesday night at Fenway Park improving their season record to 11-3 over the Bombers the Red Sox were able to do something they couldnt in the series-opener loss Monday night: Get timely hits, and big hits, too.

Every member of the Sox lineup had at least one hit. Yankees starter Phil Hughes gave up six runs on eight hits in 5 23 innings.

We stayed on him, kept pressure on him, said Jacoby Ellsbury. I thought throughout the lineup we did a tremendous job, just kept putting pressure on him.

Each time the Yankees went ahead in the third (by 1-0) and sixth (by 5-4) innings the Sox came back and put multiple runs on the board, led by two-run homers from David Ortiz in the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury in the sixth, and Jason Varitek in the eighth.

We had a big hit out of David and Adrian Gonzalez was able to get on with a base hit, and David hits a big two-run homer, Varitek said. Some things dont go our way. A ball bounces around in right field in the sixth, allowing two runs to score. The next thing you know were in a tie game and then were down one. Jacoby comes up with a huge homer.

Josh Beckett was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, improving to 12-5 with a 2.54 ERA. He is the first Sox pitcher to record four wins in a season since Al Nipper in 1987.

I thought I made some pitches whenever I needed to, Beckett said. But tonight wasnt about me. We had some guys that have been sticking out all year that stuck out big time.

Variteks home run was his 10th of the season. At 39 years, 142 days, he is the oldest Sox batter to homer in a game since Ellis Burks at 39 years, 210 days on April 8, 2004. On a six-game hitting streak, Varitek added a hit-and-run in the fifth, scoring Josh Reddick, who walked. Varitek went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.

That hit-and-run was something we practiced, Varitek said. Tito does a lot with me and he has over the years. Its one of the first ones this year.

Ellsburys blast, off Yankee reliever, lefty Boone Logan, into the first row of Monster seats in left-center, scored Varitek. Asked the last time he hit a home run to left, Ellsbury was quick to answer with tongue in cheek.

Today in BP, he said.

He was unaware it was his first career home run to left field. Ellsbury worked the count to 3-and-1, taking two sliders for balls, before turning on Logans 95-mph four-seamer.

Probably wouldnt have seen that a couple of years ago, manager Terry Francona said. He stays back now, he stays balanced . . . Balls that were doubles or outs are turning into a home run. I think he gets more confident as he each day passes.

Laying off the sliders is just being ready to hit and recognizing the pitches early, Ellsbury said. That allowed me to get in a good hitters count. Ended up putting a good swing on that ball. Im just hoping to drive Tek in, peppering the wall. But its nice to see it go out.

Ortizs home run, his team-leading 28th of the season, gave him a season-high 14-game hitting streak, his longest with the Sox, and second-longest of his career, behind a 19-gamer with the Twins in 2002. During his current streak, he is hitting .509 (27-for-53) with seven double, seven home runs, 16 RBI, and eight walks.

Hes a huge run producer, said Pedroia. Hes one of the reasons why we score so many runs. We need him to continue to hit because we dont need him out there playing defense.

Before Variteks hit-and-run in the sixth, Reddick worked his way back from being down 0-2 to Hughes to work an eight-pitch walk, setting up the run.

Those are grinding at-bats, Pedroia said. That's what makes our offense good. We got guys who can hit but in certain situations when their pitching is tough you got to do the little things to help us win. We just got to continue to do that throughout the year.

Despite the decisive win, the Sox wouldnt call this a statement game, though.

It was a nice win, Ellsbury said. I thought the fans, there was a lot of electricity. We feed off that. It was a fun win.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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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?