The Red Sox moved to 3-1 against the Yankees this year behind a strong effort from Clay Buchholz and homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis in a 5-4 win.
Buchholz, who carried in a 6.25 ERA in six career starts against the Bombers and who took the loss in Boston’s lone defeat at Fenway Park in the rivals’ first series last month, allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out seven. Russell Martin’s homer in the fifth over the outstretched glove of a leaping Jacoby Ellsbury accounted for the only damage.
It was a 2-2 game after six when Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the surprising call to bring Bartolo Colon back out for the seventh. Colon was effective, having allowed just four hits, but he had already matched his season-high 99 pitches.
As it turned out, he threw just four more. Girardi let him give up a line-drive single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to start the frame and then pulled him in favor of Joba Chamberlain. After a fielder’s choice exchanged Salty for Jacoby Ellsbury at first base, the Red Sox put on the hit and run and Dustin Pedroia singled past a covering Robinson Cano. Gonzalez followed with a long sac fly to break the tie and then Youkilis homered to give Boston a 5-2 lead.
The Yankees came back against a wild Daniel Bard in the eighth, scoring one run on a wild pitch and putting the tying run on second with one out. However, Nick Swisher struck out and Jorge Posada grounded out to end the threat.
In the ninth, singles from Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson against Jonathan Papelbon, with a defensive indifference thrown in, brought the Bombers to within one run before Mark Teixeira popped out to end it.
Girardi will take some fire in this one for leaving Colon in. It always looks bad when a manager pulls his starter one batter into an inning. The Yankees were on the opposite end of one of those Sunday, when the Rangers sent Dave Bush out for the fifth, watched Derek Jeter homer and then removed him. If the pitcher is just one mistake away from exiting the game, why send him back out to make the mistake?
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.