Boston at New York

Scoreboard
Boston (86-68) «0030102017121
N.Y. Yankees (92-63)000000021340

Lester's stellar outing helps BoSox drop fading Yanks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Jon Lester thought about the standings and realized the hole the Boston Red Sox are in -- 5 ½ games behind the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race with just eight games to play.

Difficult. Unlikely. But not impossible.

Especially with four more games against the Yankees.

"We've got a chance," he said Saturday after taking a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and leading the Red Sox over the fading Yankees 7-3. "Weirder things have happened in baseball."

More on Red Sox at Yankees

Lester (19-9) became the first Boston left-hander in 57 years to win 19 games, overpowering New York in the late-afternoon shadows before Francisco Cervelli singled off the glove of diving rookie Daniel Nava in left field with one out in the sixth.

Lester allowed two hits in seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. He won his sixth straight start, extended his scoreless innings streak to 15 and lowered his ERA to 2.96. The only other Red Sox left-handers with 19 wins were Jesse Tannehill (1904-05), Ray Collins (1913-14), Dutch Leonard (1914), Babe Ruth (1916-17), Lefty Grove (1935) and Mel Parnell (1949 and 1953).

"It was so hard to see the first, what, five innings," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "His two-seamer had such good, you know, depth to it, and his cutter. He was explosive."

While the Red Sox are spurting with eight wins in 12 games, the Yankees are sputtering. New York dropped out of first in the AL East on Friday night, falling a half-game behind Tampa Bay, and is 26-26 since Aug. 1 following a 66-37 start. The Yankees have lost four straight at home for the first time since May 2-7 last year.

Career HR Leaders
PlayerTotal
1. Barry Bonds762
2. Hank Aaron755
3. Babe Ruth714
4. Willie Mays660
5. Ken Griffey Jr.630
6. Alex Rodriguez-y611
7. Sammy Sosa609
8. Jim Thome-y589
9. Frank Robinson586
10. Mark McGwire583

Getting outscored 34-16 during the skid, the veteran-stocked Yankees are 10-13 in September- hitting just .256 with a 4.66 ERA. They appear to be tired, and their magic number remained at three, making it impossible to clinch a playoff berth at home.

"We need somebody to go out and shut the door on the other team," said Alex Rodriguez, whose fifth-inning walk gave the Yankees their first baserunner. "When you're down five or six runs, it's hard to play with an edge."

Lester pitched a no-hitter against Kansas City at Fenway Park on May 19, 2008. Trying to join Cy Young (1904 and 1908) and Dutch Leonard (1916 and 1918) as the only Red Sox to pitch a pair of no-hitters, Lester walked Austin Kearns starting the sixth, and Curtis Granderson's groundout advanced the runner.

Cervelli then lined a ball to left, and Nava sprinted in. The ball hit off the heel of his glove, bounced off his chest and rolled onto the field for a hit. Thinking the ball might be caught, Kearns held at second. Derek Jeter then stroked a single to left, and Nava threw out Kearns at the plate.

Since losing his first three starts, Lester is 19-6 with 2.49 ERA.

"For whatever reason, it takes him whatever time to get rolling and to kind of repeat his pitches," Francona said. "Once he gets into that mode, man, he's like -- he's relentless."

While the Yankees' CC Sabathia (20-7) and Seattle's Felix Hernandez (2.31 ERA) are the top AL Cy Young Award contenders, Lester could get consideration.

"Would it be nice to get a vote, or would it be nice to be recognized for it? Sure. I'm not going to lie to you and say no," Lester said.

After rookie Ivan Nova (1-1) was knocked out early, J.D. Drew and Victor Martinez hit consecutive home runs in the seventh against Chad Gaudin, bringing loud boos from a sellout crowd.

Granderson hit a two-run homer off reliever Daniel Bard in the eighth, Granderson's sixth homer in 10 games. Hideki Okajima completed the four-hitter, allowing Rodriguez's 28th homer of the season and 611th overall.

Nova gave up four runs, four hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. Boston took a 3-0 lead in the third when Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz had RBI singles around Drew's run-scoring, double-play grounder. Ortiz greeted Royce Ring with a run-scoring single in the fifth.

"We're still in a good spot," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We have seven games left to play, and our club needs to win three games. If you had said that Feb. 15th, all of us would have signed up for it."

Notes

  • Kearns returned to LF for the Yankees for the first time since he was hit on the left elbow by a Matt Albers pitch at Baltimore last Sunday.
  • The crowd of 49,448 was the 14th sellout at Yankee Stadium this year, double last year's regular-season total but down from 58 in the last season of old Yankee Stadium.
  • New York rested C Jorge Posada and OF Brett Gardner from the starting lineup.
  • Thirteen of New York's last 14 runs have been driven in on homers.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jon Lester overpowers the Yankees to help the Red Sox close within 5 ½ games of New York for the AL wild-card. (AP)
Jon Lester overpowers the Yankees to help the Red Sox close within 5 ½ games of New York for the AL wild-card. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Lester
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 8
New York

C. Granderson
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Marco Scutaro, 2B6021024 .272
J.D. Drew, RF5221001 .260
    Josh Reddick, RF1000002 .226
Victor Martinez, C3111201 .299
David Ortiz, DH4022100 .265
Adrian Beltre, 3B5010006 .320
Jed Lowrie, SS4010100 .281
    Yamaico Navarro, PR-SS0100000 .147
Ryan Kalish, CF3121110 .254
Daniel Nava, LF2100113 .245
    Eric Patterson, LF1000011 .225
Lars Anderson, 1B4110115 .261
Totals38712676  
Batting
2B - Marco Scutaro (34, Albaladejo), J.D. Drew (24, Nova), Jed Lowrie (13, Chamberlain), Ryan Kalish (11, Chamberlain)
HR - J.D. Drew (20, Gaudin), Victor Martinez (19, Gaudin)
RBI - Marco Scutaro (56), J.D. Drew (65), Victor Martinez (74), David Ortiz 2 (98), Ryan Kalish (23)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 2 (45)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Daniel Nava 1
DP - Lester-Lowrie-Anderson
E - Adrian Beltre (19, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,19-8) 7200380 2.96
Daniel Bard 1121121 1.87
Hideki Okajima 1111001 4.57
WP - Jon Lester (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 102-58, Daniel Bard 28-17, Hideki Okajima 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 7-4, Daniel Bard 1-1, Hideki Okajima 1-2
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 24, Daniel Bard 6, Hideki Okajima 4
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS3010100 .267
Nick Swisher, RF4000023 .288
Mark Teixeira, 1B3000121 .254
    Chad Moeller, C0000000 .214
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3111111 .274
Robinson Cano, 2B4000002 .317
Marcus Thames, DH4000021 .289
Austin Kearns, LF1000110 .265
   a- Brett Gardner, PH-LF2100000 .276
Curtis Granderson, CF3112010 .251
Francisco Cervelli, C2010000 .260
   b- Lance Berkman, PH-1B1000010 .253
Totals30343410  
a-grounded out for Kearns in the 8th
b-struck out for Cervelli in the 8th
Batting
HR - Alex Rodriguez (28, Okajima), Curtis Granderson (23, Bard)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez (117), Curtis Granderson 2 (63)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Cano-Jeter-Teixeira
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ivan Nova (L,1-1) 4.2444320 4.54
Royce Ring0100000 5.40
Chad Gaudin 1.2422002 5.68
Romulo Sanchez 0.2000220 0.00
Jonathan Albaladejo 1100100 4.66
Joba Chamberlain 1211120 4.50
IBB - Ortiz by Jonathan Albaladejo
HBP - Kalish (by Ivan Nova), Nava (by Chad Gaudin)
Pitches-Strikes - Ivan Nova 81-46, Royce Ring 2-1, Chad Gaudin 26-15, Romulo Sanchez 27-16, Jonathan Albaladejo 17-9, Joba Chamberlain 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ivan Nova 9-2, Chad Gaudin 1-4, Jonathan Albaladejo 2-1, Joba Chamberlain 1-0
Batters Faced - Ivan Nova 21, Royce Ring 1, Chad Gaudin 10, Romulo Sanchez 4, Jonathan Albaladejo 5, Joba Chamberlain 6
Game Information
Attendance - 49558
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Jerry Crawford