THE RAYS and A ONE WAY
TICKET TO "MANNY-WOOD" ...
Manny comes through with
a clutch hit to beat NY

April 12, 2008 ... Given the chance to intentionally walk Manny Ramirez, Yankee manager, Joe Girardi opted to have Mike Mussina, who already had struck out the other half of Boston's pick-your-poison quandary, slump-ridden David Ortiz, pitch to Ramirez with two on and first base open in the sixth inning. Ramirez, who earlier had homered off Mussina, responded with a two-run double, driving in the go-ahead runs in a 4-3 Sox win over the Bombers that tied this three-game set at a game apiece headed into tonight's finale. Dustin Pedroia had followed Jacoby Ellsbury's single with a double prior to Ramirez's decisive hit, a first-pitch line drive that kicked off the Sox bullpen wall and rolled into the center-field triangle.

Kevin Youkilis followed Ramirez's hit with an RBI single off reliever Brian Bruney to make it 4-2, the extra run pivotal when Robinson Cano doubled home the third Yankees' run in the seventh off Sox starter Josh Beckett.

Rain kept the outcome hanging in the balance. Jonathan Papelbon received a summons with two outs and two on in the eighth, then waited out a 2-hour-11-minute rain delay to strike out Alex Rodriguez on three pitches, the last clocked at 96 miles an hour on the scoreboard radar.

Papelbon, who kept himself occupied during the delay by riding an exercise bike, struck out two more Yankees in the ninth, then retired Cano after an 11-pitch duel, Cano fouling off five of the last six pitches, on a ground ball to second to earn his fourth save.

Manny’s fourth-inning home run, which came with two outs and nobody on, was his 53d regular-season homer against the Bombers, one more than Carl Yastrzemski and tied with Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg for third on the all-time list, behind two Hall of Famers, Jimmie Foxx (70) and Ted Williams (62).

Ramirez's 155 RBIs against the Yankees are his most against any opponent. Only two players, Yaz (163) and Al Kaline (157), have knocked in more against the Bombers in the last half-century.

In his last 17 games against the Yankees in Fenway Park, dating to the start of the 2006 season and including today's nationally televised affair, Ramirez is batting .544 (31 for 57) against the Yankees, with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.

Mussina took a 2-1 lead into the sixth before Ellsbury slashed an opposite-field single and Pedroia lined a double off the Monster. Up came Ortiz, who'd already killed one rally when his check-swing tapper to Mussina turned into a double play after Ellsbury and Pedroia had opened the home first with singles. The infield was playing back, conceding the tying run, when Ortiz, who had lined to right in the fourth, came to the plate, the expectations of a sellout crowd of 37,461 ringing in his ears. All the importuning in the world, however, was insufficient to keep Ortiz from going down on strikes, swinging and foul-tipping a 1-and-2 breaking ball.

The Yankees were held to a debatable hit through five innings (Cano's chopper to second dropped by Pedroia leading off the third) by Beckett, who was regularly hitting 97 miles per hour on the speed gun. They broke through in the top of the sixth.

Jose Molina grounded a single up the middle and rookie shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, playing because captain Derek Jeter remains sidelined with a strained left quadriceps, followed by lining a single to left. Johnny Damon bunted the runners over, Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly to center scored Molina, and Beckett bounced a pitch to Bobby Abreu past Jason Varitek, Gonzalez scoring, before whiffing Abreu to end the inning.

The Yankees drew to within a run in the seventh when Jorge Posada singled, took second on another Beckett wild pitch, and scored on Cano's double off the Wall. That was all for Beckett, Manny Delcarmen entering to strike out Molina. Hideki Okajima issued a two-out walk to Cabrera, Abreu singled, Papelbon entered, and so did the rain.

 

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

NEW YORK YANKEES

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

 

 

3

6

0

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

x

 

 

4

9

0

 

 

W-Josh Beckett (1-1)
L-Mike Mussina (1-2)
Attendance - 37,461

 2B-Cano (NY), Pedroia (Bost), Ramirez (Bost)

 HR-Ramirez (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Jacoby Ellsbury cf/lf 3 1 2 .250  

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 4 1 2 .271  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 0 0 .070  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 4 2 2 .277  

 

Coco Crisp cf 0 0 0 .296  

 

Kevin Youkilis 3b 4 0 2 .317  

 

J.D. Drew rf 3 0 0 .387  

 

Jason Varitek c 3 0 1 .270  

 

Sean Casey 1b 2 0 0 .263  

 

Julio Lugo ss 3 0 0 .256  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Josh Beckett 6.2 5 3 1 5  
  Mnny Delcarmen 0.1 0 0 0 1  
  Hideki Okajima 0.2 1 0 1 0  
  Jon Papelbon 1.1 0 0 0 3  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2008 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 7 4 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 6 5 1

 

 

New York Yankees 6 6 1 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 6 6 1 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays 5 6 2