Mike Napoli started the turnaround for the Sox, when he belted a game-tying grand slam with two outs in the seventh. It was the second time this year he's slammed the Yankees on their turf, and the third grand slam this season. It leaves him one shy of Babe Ruth for the club record, as the legendary Ruth hit four back in 1919.
His offensive effort was joined by Shane Victorino, who hit a two-run shot in the eighth to snap an 8-8 tie. It was the second night in a row that Victorino had come up with a big late inning hit.
The Yankees thought they had everything working in their favor. Alfonso Soriano blasted his 30th home run of the year, a two-run shot, to score the game's opening runs in the bottom of the first. Then after the Sox posted their first run of the game, Eduardo Nunez triples home a run. That was followed up by a Chris Stewart sac fly, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead in the second inning. Andy Pettite was looking fairly solid in the opening innings.
Brett Gardner added a two-run triple of his own in the fourth, opening things up to a 6-2 lead. They would tack on two more in the fifth, giving them an 8-3 lead, before Pettite started to come undone. He would finish the night giving up three runs on five hits in six innings. Boone Logan was charged with a blown save in the seventh, after giving up the Napoli grand slam.
For Boston, Felix Doubront was chased out early. He was tagged for six runs on just three hits and was gone after 3 and 2/3 innings. Brandon Workman improves to 5-2 on the year, as he was the pitcher on record when the Red Sox took control of the game.
It was an ugly night on the bases for Boston in their win. They went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 10 men on base.
Both teams are at it again on Saturday afternoon, leading off a full slate of games at 1:05 P.M. Central. John Lackey (8-12, 3.22 ERA) will take the mound for Boston, as he will face David Huff (2-0, 1.13 ERA). Since replacing Phil Hughes on August 15, Huff has been borderline unhittable. He's given up just one run on six hits over 15 innings of relief.
It is the fourth straight win for Boston, but it also spelled potential trouble for New York. The loss put them three games out of the AL Wild Card, as Baltimore and Cleveland have jumped them in the standings with their respective wins. Here's the short version of the AL Wild Card after Friday night's games
- T-Baltimore (75-65, 2½ GB)
- T-Cleveland (75-65, 2½ GB)
- New York (75-66, 3 GB)
- Kansas City (73-68, 5 GB)