Red Sox score early and often, rout Yankees 11-6


David Ortiz homered in a second straight game Wednesday as the Red Sox jumped all over Yankees starter A.J. Burnett on their way to an 11-6 win.

They improved to 7-1 against the Yankees this season and moved into the AL East lead by one game.

Helped out by two Francisco Cervelli throwing errors on steal attempts, the Red Sox scored four times in the first two innings for the second straight night.  They went on to take a 7-0 lead in the top of the fourth, only to watch the Yankees come back and make it 7-4 over the following two frames.

The Red Sox controlled the game from there, though.  After Burnett was pulled in the sixth, Boone Logan walked in a run to make it 8-4.  Those eight runs — seven earned — were all charged to Burnett in his worst start so far this season.

With the score 8-5, Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew homered in the ninth to put the game out of reach.

Derek Jeter had a double in five at-bats, leaving him 11 hits shy of 3,000 with eight games left in the Yankees homestand.

Thursday’s series finale will feature the third matchup between Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia already this season.  Beckett prevailed in the first two, throwing 14 scoreless innings and striking out 19.  Sabathia pitched well in the first matchup, yielding one run in 5 2/3 innings, but he gave up six runs over six innings in a May 14 loss.

Sabathia, though, has been stellar since that last defeat.  He’s won four straight starts, pitching at least eight innings each time.

Ryan Zimmerman’s spring training has been . . . weird

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Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.

While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.

Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.

I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.

On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.