Wild Weather Shortens Bronx Finale – Sox Win 3-0

A trio of rain delays didn’t dampen the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, as the Sox got two solo home runs from Jose Iglesias and David Ortiz and a stellar five innings from Clay Buchholz.  Boston won 3-0 and took their second series of the year at Yankee Stadium and moved the Yankees into a third place tie in the AL East.

Buchholz brought his A-game for this one, as he shut down the Yankees bats over five scoreless frames. Buchholz probably could have gone a full nine, but Mother Nature wouldn’t allow it as the game was called in between the sixth inning as loud thunder and lightning along with torrential downpours spelled doom for the game.

The Yankees last baserunner came in the third when catcher Austin Romine singled to lead off the inning, but slugger Robinson Cano would ground into a  5-6-3 double play to end the inning. A play earlier, Stephen Drew almost doubled off Austin Romine at first as Drew made a lunging catch on a Brett Gardner liner, but the throw to Mike Napoli fell out of his glove as Romine dove back into first.  Luckily for Boston, the always dangerous Cano didn’t make the Sox pay for it.

Dustin Pedroia led off the fourth with a single and reached third on a hit-and-run play as David Ortiz singled back up the middle. Napoli then grounded a slow chopper to short, and Pedroia trotted home as shortstop Jayson Nix threw out Ortiz. Kuroda would recover to strike out Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning with the Sox up 1-0.

Buchholz continued his dominance in the bottom of the inning, setting down the Yankees in order on just ten pitches.  He would get Mark Teixeira and Travis Hafner on strikeouts followed by a Vernon Wells grounder to third.

The Red Sox would get to Kuroda again in the fifth. Jose Iglesias led off the inning, and on the first pitch he saw, drove a 92 MPH fastball to deep left for his first home run of 2013 (second of career). With the way Buchholz was dealing, 2-0 could have been 100-0.

Looking to imitate Iglesias’s power, Ortiz led off the top of the sixth with a majestic, towering home run into the right field stands to put Boston on top, 3-0. The shot by Papi seemed to open the skies as rain began to pour shortly after.

“Three rain delays — a fake one and two real ones,” Ortiz said. “What else can you do? You just stick around and see how things end up.

David Ortiz crosses home plate on his 10th home run of the season; the final run in the Sox 3-0 shutout in the Bronx.

David Ortiz crosses home plate on his 10th home run of the season; the final run in the Sox 3-0 shutout in the Bronx.

After a 37 minute rain delay, play resumed in the sixth, albeit very briefly.  The Sox had gone to the clubhouse with Napoli on first and one out.  When they returned, Boone Logan had replaced Kuroda as Napoli was caught stealing second base, and Drew flied out.  As Andrew Miller was announced to replace Buchholz, the skies opened yet again, and after just four minutes of play, the grounds crew again had to put the tarp back on the field.

After waiting 45 minutes, the game was called and the win given to the Red Sox.  Adding up the delay to start the game (45 minutes, though no rain actually fell), the 37 minute delay between batters in the top of the sixth, and the final one, the Red Sox and Yankees sat through 2:07 of rain delays.

Buchholz improved to 8-0 on the season and is 2-0 at Yankee Stadium this season. He needed just 71 pitches to finish off New York, and lowered his Major League leading ERA to 1.63.

Asked what he thought of getting credited with a complete game shutout with just five innings, Buchholz responded, “That’s awesome.”

The Red Sox have an off day Monday as they prepare for a return home to face the best team in the American League, the Texas Rangers. The Yankees begin a series Monday against the Cleveland Indians trying to right a ship that has suddenly veered off course, dropping nine of 12.

Inside the Game

-Since his call-up, Jose Iglesias is 14-33 (.424), effectively cancelling any bus fare back to Pawtucket. He has especially been a thorn to NY (10-19, .526 BA)

-Ironically, Buchholz’s “complete game” was his shortest outing of the season.  It was the first time he hasn’t gone at least six, thanks a lot weather.

-Mike Napoli may be on pace to challenge the single-season record for strikeouts, but he did manage to go 6-12 in the series vs. NY (including 2-3 Sunday) with six RBI.  With 45 on the season, he is on pace for 126 RBI.

-Jacoby Ellsbury missed his third straight game with a groin pull, but is hopeful to return Tuesday.

Jay Coorey – Senior MLB Contributor – Title Town Sports

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