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?
The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.
As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.
The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.
Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.
It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.
While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.