GAME 12 : The Yankees employed the long ball to back a solid start from Hiroki Kuroda, beating the Boston Red Sox 7-4. Kuroda used 97 pitches to scatter 6 hits over 6 1/3, striking out 5, and walking 3. The hit parade was led by catcher Brian McCann with his first and second home runs of the season, and featured blasts from Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, and Kelly Johnson.
Kuroda tired in the 7th, and Matt Thornton came in to strike out David Ortiz looking with 2 on, but after a double steal, Mike Carp out-smarted the shift, driving a single through the vacant shortstop position, and scoring both runners making in 6-4. What looked like a relatively easy win suddenly turned into a typical Yankees-Red Sox scrap. Manager Joe Girardi then brought in Dellin Betances, but McCann nailed Carp attempting to steal to end the inning.
Adam Warren pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Shawn Kelly closed it out with a perfect 9th, for his second save. Kelly Johnson’s blast into Monument Park in the bottom of the 8th put the ribbon on a 7-4 win.
In the fourth, McCann and Soriano went back-to-back, with home run blasts to right. 4-2 Yanks. Beltran opened the Yankees 6th with a double off the base of the wall in right center, and McCann followed with his second homer, a blast to right. 6-2, Yanks.
The Yanks opened the scoring in the bottom of the first off Boston starter John Lackey, with an bunt single from Jacoby Ellsbury and a blast into the second deck in right from Carlos Beltran. Kuroda gave it right back in the top of the second, as shortstop Xander Bogaerts singled, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski blasted a home run to right.
GAME NOTES : The long ball. This is exactly what Yankees fans were deprived of last season with the patchwork lineup, and a welcome sight… This was the first time in Lackey’s career he allowed 4 home runs in one game… The Yankees now lead the Red Sox 1,153-973 in all time head-to-head match ups… During the YES broadcast, Michael Kay noted that 34 Yankees have hit their first career home run against the Red Sox — with ‘The Iron Horse’ Lou Gehrig being the first, and Dean Anna the most recent… SAY WHAT? Alex Rodriguez in the ESPN booth tomorrow night? …
MINOR UPDATES : The Yankees top 2013 draft pick third baseman Eric Jagielo has homered in 3 straight games in Class A Advanced ball. Article here.
MEMORY LANE : On April 12th, 1996, the Yankees signed Juan Rivera as an amateur free agent. In 2003, Rivera was traded to the Montreal Expos, along with Randy Choate and Nick Johnson for Javier Vazquez. On this date in 1954, Ralph Houk was re-signed as free agent. Houk played 8 seasons for the Yanks, from 1947-1954, going on to manage the club from 1961 to 1973, winning 3 AL pennants 2 World Series titles in 1961 and 1962. He also managed the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox before retiring in 1984 … (Source: baseball-reference.com)
ROUND-UP : Here’s the box score, and recaps from Bryan Hoch (mlb.com) and Scott Lauber (The Boston Herald). Next up : Ivan Nova (1-1. 8.68) takes the mound against Felix Doubront (1-1, 9.00) tomorrow evening in the 4 game series finale, 8:00pm EST/5:00pm PT, TV: ESPN.