Thursday, August 28, 2008
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Bay, Pedroia lead Red Sox to 11-3 blowout of Yanks

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[August 28, 2008]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Bay drove in four runs, Dustin Pedroia hit a grand slam and the Boston Red Sox routed the listless Yankees 11-3 on Wednesday night, putting an emphatic dent in New York's dwindling playoff chances.

Paul Byrd beat the Yankees in a crucial game for the second consecutive year, and David Ortiz reached base four times for the second straight night.

DonutsPedroia's first career slam capped a seven-run eighth inning and sent hordes of booing Yankees fans shuffling toward the exits. With co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner in attendance, New York dropped seven games behind Boston, which leads the AL wild-card race by 2 1/2 games over Minnesota.

The Red Sox remained 3 1/2 games behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

In a game they needed badly, the injury-depleted Yankees gave the ball to Sidney Ponson (7-5). He lasted 4 2-3 innings and dropped to 3-13 with a 6.95 ERA in 22 starts against the Red Sox.

Boston will try for a three-game sweep Thursday with lefty Jon Lester on the mound against 16-game winner Mike Mussina.


Byrd (9-11) stymied New York's struggling hitters with floaters and soft stuff, just as he did last October when the right-hander won at Yankee Stadium to clinch a first-round playoff series for Cleveland.

Still using his old-fashioned windup, Byrd allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and improved to 2-1 in three starts since Boston acquired him from the Indians this month.

Byrd has won six of his last seven starts following a five-game losing streak.

Also a Red Sox newcomer, Bay hit a two-run double in the first and an RBI triple in the eighth when Boston battered relievers Jose Veras and David Robertson.

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Bay has six RBIs in his first two games playing in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Pedroia, last season's AL Rookie of the Year, hit a shot off Robertson that landed on the netting above New York's retired numbers in left-center. In the Boston bullpen, star closer Jonathan Papelbon spread his arms with delight.

The Red Sox jumped ahead in the first. Pedroia singled and went to third on Ortiz's double. Ponson whiffed Kevin Youkilis for the second out, but Bay hit a sinking liner toward the gap that dropped just in front of diving left fielder Xavier Nady for a two-run double.

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Bay tried to score on Jason Varitek's single and was cut down on a strong throw by right fielder Bobby Abreu.

Alex Rodriguez's two-out double in the bottom half scored Abreu from first, and New York tied it in the fourth. A-Rod led off with another double and scored on Robinson Cano's two-out RBI single off the glove of a diving Pedroia at second base.

With runners at the corners, Byrd retired No. 9 batter Ivan Rodriguez on a fly ball.

Ponson settled in until Pedroia's perfect hit-and-run single put runners at the corners in the fifth. Consecutive walks to Ortiz and Youkilis forced in the go-ahead run before Bay's sacrifice fly made it 4-2 and chased Ponson, who is 0-3 in his past four starts.


Notes: Boston 1B Sean Casey, still hampered by a stiff neck, was not in the lineup. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Casey set himself back a bit when he tried to hit Tuesday, but the team isn't planning to put him on the DL yet. ... Wearing a Yankees cap, actor Jack Nicholson sat behind home plate. ... Boston acquired OF Mark Kotsay from Atlanta for minor league OF Luis Sumoza. The Red Sox also designated INF-OF Joe Thurston for assignment. ... Red Sox 3B Mike Lowell, on the DL with a strained muscle on his right side, hit off a tee and said it went well.

[Associated Press; By MIKE FITZPATRICK]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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