For six innings, the new face in the Boston rotation held baseball’s most powerful lineup scoreless. John Lackey hurled a dominating game in his Red Sox debut, allowing only 3 hits and 3 walks while fanning 3. Unfortunately, his teammates couldn’t provide the necessary backup.
The Sox lineup was held in check by Andy Pettitte, who yielded only one run while scattering 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 4. Dustin Pedroia scored what would ultimately be the team’s lone run on a David Ortiz single with two outs in the third.
That was the good news of the night: David Ortiz had his first hit and RBI of the season and John Lackey paid immediate dividends after signing his monster off-season deal. Now the bad news.
Lackey departed at the end of the sixth with a 1-0 lead, but that was promptly surrendered by the bullpen. Newly signed Scott Schoeneweis, whom the Red Sox inked to a deal at the end of March, was first on the scene. Schoeneweis has had his struggles of late, finishing last season with 7.13 ERA after posting a 3.34 ERA in 2008. On Wednesday, he allowed a ringing double by Jorge Posada before being replaced by Daniel Bard. Bard then gave up a single to Nick Swisher, which scored Posada thanks to a wide throw to the plate by right fielder J.D. Drew.
The 1-1 score held up until the 10th inning. Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon went back to the mound after pitching a scoreless night, and immediately surrendered a tie-breaking home run to Curtis Granderson. After a Swisher strikeout, Paps walked Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. He was lifted in favor of Scott Atchison, who yielded a third consecutive walk to load the bases. He managed to get Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to ground out, but Tex’s grounder scored Gardner to put the Yanks up 3-1.
That would be the final.
The Sox dropped two of three to the Yankees at Fenway thanks in large part to poor pitching and spotty defense. Wednesday’s implosion by Papelbon, Tuesday night’s Scutaro throwing error, and even Sunday’s rough start by Josh Beckett ensured that the Sox had to fight their way through all three games, and unfortunately New York made more of its opportunities.
Boston has an off day to contemplate its performance before heading to Kansas City for a three game set with the Royals.