Yankees sweep, Red Sox get swept

6 Comments

So much for momentum.

The Yankees finished off a sweep in Oakland with their 10th straight victory over the A’s on Wednesday, while the Red Sox lost their third in a row to the White Sox at home, giving the Bombers a two-game lead in the AL East.

The Red Sox, apparently worn out after a four-game series in Detroit that included a day-night doubleheader on Sunday, have lost four in a row to fall back to 30-26 on the season.  Before dropping the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, they had won 13 of 15, a stretch that started when they swept the Yankees in New York on May 13-15.

Boston dropped Wednesday’s game 7-4 after Paul Konerko singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh and put the game away with a two-run homer in the ninth.  An apparent bad call by second-base umpire Marty Foster led to a two-run fifth inning for the White Sox, erasing what was a 3-1 lead for the Red Sox at the time.

On that play, Tim Wakefield picked Juan Pierre off first base, with Pierre continuing to second on the throw.  In the rundown, Dustin Pedroia appeared to perform a swipe-tag on Pierre for what would have been the third out of the inning.  Pedroia reacted as though there was a tag.  Pierre reacted as though there was a tag.  Foster, though, said no tag and refused to ask for help when the Red Sox argued.

The Yankees have won four in a row after dropping their first two games in Seattle last weekend.  Mariano Rivera finally got back into the save column with the 4-2 win on Wednesday.  He had gone three weeks without one since saving 13 of the team’s first 33 games.  He had just one opportunity during the span, blowing a 1-0 lead in a game against the Orioles on May 18.

Both the Yankees and Red Sox now have Thursday off.  The Yankees go to Anaheim to face the Angels on Friday, while the Red Sox will get their chance to take on the A’s in another series at Fenway.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

Tim Warner/Getty Images
4 Comments

Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.