Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis homer as BoSox take Yankees

3 Comments

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?

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

Getty Images
1 Comment

Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.