NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The relief pitching that had been a strength for the Yankees this weekend failed them in the end.
That’s the way it’s going this season against the Boston Red Sox.
Mariano Rivera blew a save in the ninth inning, then Josh Reddick hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th to give the Red Sox a 3-2 victory in a game that ended early Monday morning.
“Our bullpen for the most part was really, really good in the series. It’s unfortunate we lost the game,” manager Joe Girardi said.
The Red Sox, atop the AL East, will hit the road to face the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. They’ll have a chance to gain — or lose — another half game in the standings with the second-place Yankees off.
On Sunday, it seemed it was going to be just like the series opener Friday night, when the Yankees’ pen shut down Boston for a win.
But leading 2-1 in the ninth, Rivera came in and allowed Marco Scutaro’s leadoff double. Scutaro advanced on Jacoby Ellsbury’s sacrifice before Dustin Pedroia tied it with a sacrifice fly.
And to see Rivera blow it made it even harder for the Yankees, who lost two of three in the series.
“It’s unusual,” Girardi said. “We’re so used to seeing him do it time after time after time.”
On Friday, New York’s pen shut out Boston for 4 1-3 innings. On Sunday, the relievers held the Red Sox scoreless for three innings.
With the win, the Red Sox took over sole possession of first place in the AL East and clinched a win in the season series against New York for the first time since 2004.
“I don’t call it disappointing or frustrating,” Rivera said. “We lost the series. That’s baseball. We’ve been playing great.”
The Yankees had opened a 2-1 lead on homers by Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner.
It was the fifth blown save of the season for Rivera, who pitched a scoreless inning in each of his first two appearances against Boston this season.
“That’s huge. He’s the best closer in the game right now,” Reddick said.
David Ortiz sparked the game-ending rally with a one-out double against Phil Hughes (2-4). Darnell McDonald came in to run and the Yankees opted to walk Carl Crawford, who had three hits.
Reddick then hit a liner into the corner in left, driving in McDonald as the Fenway Park crowd erupted in cheers.
Daniel Bard (2-5) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.
Boston lost the series opener but won the next two to snap the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak and take the series. The Red Sox are 10-2 against New York this season with six games left, and one game up in the AL East.
What’s with the Red Sox dominating the Yankees this season? Be heard in the comments below…
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