The Yankees ran into some injury scares on and off the field but a consistent bat continues producing.
After a scoreless first inning by Ivan Nova, the Yankees got some strong at-bats against lefty Felix Doubront. Brett Gardner was robbed of extra bases with a over-the-shoulder catch by rightfielder Daniel Nava. Carlos Beltran would follow with a single right after and Jacoby Ellsbury would hit a double to put runners on second and third with one out. Alfonso Soriano would hit a fly ball deep enough to score Beltran from third but there would be a rare baserunning mistake by Ellsbury.
Beltran would not sprint down the line from third base and with two outs, Ellsbury also attempted to advance to third on the play. Centerfielder Jackie Bradley would throw to third base and Ellsbury would be tagged out for the double play and because he was out before Beltran reached home, the game would remain scoreless after one.
In the second inning, Ivan Nova wouldn’t have an easy inning for a couple reasons. After getting the first two outs, Ryan Roberts would hit a single. Jackie Bradley would follow with a single that deflected right off the foot of Nova, allowing Roberts to advance to third. Jonathan Herrera would hit the third single in a row for a run and the lead. Grady Sizemore would hit the fourth consecutive single but leftfielder Brett Gardner would keep the second run from scoring by getting Jackie Bradley out at home.
The Yankees would take the lead on the hot bat of Carlos Beltran. The Yankees rightfielder would hit his second home run of the series, third of the past two series. This home run came with one on and it gave the Yankees the 2-1 lead. The Yankees would add to the lead in the fourth inning, but not without some loss. Brian McCann and Yangervis Solarte would start the fourth inning with a pair of walks. Kelly Johnson would ground into a force out at second and it would appear that Francisco Cervelli would hit into a double play.
Challenge overturns the call.
The Yankees would challenge the out call at first base on a hustling Francisco Cervelli. After a short review, the umpires ruled Cervelli safe at first base. In disagreement with the replay, much like arguing balls and strikes, the umpires would have none of it when they ejected manager John Farrell from the game. More importantly, based on the final score, Cervelli’s safe call at first base allowed the third run for the Yankees to score. But the play would come at a loss. In his hustle, Francisco Cervelli would tumble to the ground with an apparent hamstring injury. Ichiro Suzuki would replace Cervelli on the bases but he would not get to come around to score. The more important question would follow in the fifth inning.
Who’s on first?
With Ichiro Suzuki in the game, Carlos Beltran, rightfielder, would make his first career appearance at first base. Beltran would not be involved in a play until the sixth inning. Mike Napoli would open the sixth inning with a home run to make it a 3-2 game but a pair of ground outs to shortstop Dean Anna would be easily caught for the putout at first base by Beltran.
Lost in the chaos on the bases, Ivan Nova had been cruising. After the parade of singles in the second, Nova retired 9 of the 11 batters to follow before the Napoli home run in the sixth inning. He would respond to the home run with seven more outs before handing the game over to the bullpen.
In 7.1 innings, Ivan Nova allowed two runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out four. A great start against a strong opponent.
Matt Thornton came on to face David Ortiz in a lefty vs. lefty matchup and he got some sparkling defensive help in right field. Ichiro Suzuki, being an athletic and agile 40-year-old, let that soak in, made a great leaping catch on the warning track to surely rob David Ortiz of extra bases. David Phelps would come into the game and let a runner get into scoring position when Mike Napoli welcomed him to the game with a double to deep left field. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases before David Phelps got the final out of the inning, striking out pinch-hitter Mike Carp with a slider tailing down and out of the strike zone. With the lead intact and a huge strikeout, Phelps let out a Joba-like fist pump in excitement.
The Yankees would not get any insurance runs for closer Shawn Kelley. The Yankees closer would have his A-game tonight as he got a pair of strikeouts before getting a fly out for his third save of the season. The save locked up an outstanding win of a four-game series with the Red Sox.
Derek Jeter would miss his second consecutive game of the season tonight as he deals with a tight quad. Brian Roberts was sidelined with a sore back. These two injuries reflect just how dire the situation got with the Cervelli injury. The Yankees may have been one injury away from Dean Anna, the Yankees catcher.
Win – Ivan Nova (2-1)
Loss – Felix Doubront (1-2)
Save – Shawn Kelley (3)
*Mike Napoli – 2 for 4, R, 2B, Solo Home Run (3) in the 6th, RBI (9)
*Jonathan Herrera – 1 for 4, RBI (2)
*Carlos Beltran – 3 for 4, R, 2B, Two-Run Home Run (3) in the 3rd, 2 RBI (8)