Salty Slam Drops Yankees Back

It looked like it was going to be a blowout early. 

Hiroki Kuroda needed 30+ pitches in the Sox 4-run first inning.  Relievers were up alongside him the first couple innings.  But Kuroda battled, and fought his way into the 7th, giving the pen a blow and allowing the Yankees to make a come back.

Brendan Ryan hit his first homer as a Yankee, and 4th of the year in the 3rd.  In the 6th, Lyle Overbay’s sac fly cut the deficit to 2.  Then in the 7th, Robinson Cano stepped to the plate with the bases loaded with 2 outs.  A double to right looked like it would clear the bases and give New York the lead.  But with Alex Rodriguez running from 1st, he could only get to third.  Rodriguez is battling a sore hamstring, and isn’t running like he normally does.  Alfonso Soriano would strand the runners on second and third. 

So heading to the bottom half of the 7th, the score was tied at 4.  And the bullpen, as it seems to do a lot lately, didn’t do its job.  Heading into action, the pen was short once again after Phil Hughes was lifted after just 3 innings on Thursday.  No Mariano Rivera after 4 games in 5 nights, some for multiple innings.  No David Robertson after throwing 43 pitches in the past two games following a sore shoulder.  So first up for New York, Preston Claiborne, who has struggled of late.

And those struggles continued.  With one on and no outs in the bottom of the 7th, Claiborne came in and loaded the bases, with no outs.  A strike out of Daniel Nava set up the double play, when to the plate stepped catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  And he delivered a grand slam to take an 8-4 lead.

Kuroda picked up the loss, seeing his record fall to 11-11, and his ERA go over 3 for the first time in a long time. 

The Yankees are now just 6-11 against the Red Sox this year.  The loss dropped New York back down to 2 games out of a Wild Card spot, and Cleveland is back ahead of them by .5 a game.

CC Sabathia looks to even up the series, while Jon Lester looks to sink the Yankees even further down the standings.

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