Unlikely Hero For Sox
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Pedro Ciriaco blooped an RBI single in the 10th
inning for his latest big hit against the New York Yankees, and the
Boston Red Sox squeaked out a 3-2 victory Sunday night moments
after manager Bobby Valentine was ejected.
Felix Doubront held the Yankees scoreless until Russell Martin
homered leading off the seventh inning. Martin also hit a tying
single with two outs in the eighth off closer Alfredo Aceves (2-6),
who went the rest of the way for the win.
Ryan Sweeney hit an early two-run double for the Red Sox, who
took two of three in their first visit to New York this season
despite grounding into four double plays against Hiroki Kuroda.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drew a leadoff walk from David Robertson
(1-4) in the 10th and Will Middlebrooks squared to bunt.
Robertson’s inside pitch appeared to deflect off Middlebrooks’
right wrist, and the rookie yanked his hand away immediately as he
spun to the ground.
The next thing the ball hit, however, was the left knee of plate
umpire Brian O’Nora, who tumbled to the ground in pain. Trainers
checked on Middlebrooks and O’Nora during a long delay, and
Middlebrooks finally started toward first base.
But the umpires ruled the ball didn’t hit him, and told
Middlebrooks to come back to home plate. Valentine engaged in a
lengthy discussion with the umps that finally grew heated and
animated. He was ejected by O’Nora and threw his chewing gum in
foul territory before returning to the dugout.
It was Valentine’s third ejection in his first season as
Boston’s manager, and the 40th of his managerial career. Moments
later, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was tossed by third base umpire
and crew chief Tom Hallion after apparently jawing from the dugout.
Once play resumed, Middlebrooks grounded the next pitch through
the left side for a single. Sweeney bounced into a force play that
left runners at the corners, and Ciriaco plopped a soft fly into
shallow right beyond the reach of a drawn-in infield.
Ciriaco had go-ahead hits in all three Red Sox wins over the
Yankees this season, including a ninth-inning triple Saturday. He
is 11 for 22 with six RBIs against New York.
Andrew Miller pulled Boston out of a dicey jam in the seventh
and got the first two outs of the eighth before Andruw Jones
doubled into the left-field corner. Martin lined Aceves’ first
pitch to center, and Jones scored without a play.
It was the fifth blown save for Aceves in 27 chances.
Martin moved up on a wild pitch but was stranded when Ichiro
Suzuki flied out. Suzuki stranded five runners on the night.
Aceves plunked Nick Swisher with a two-out pitch in the 10th,
then struck out pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez to end it. After winning
the long battle with Ibanez, Aceves pumped his fist hard in front
of the mound.
Kuroda allowed seven hits over eight innings in his latest
NOTES: The 62-year-old Valentine took a few cuts during early
batting practice. “Power stroke,” he said. “I think I was out in
front too much.” … LF Carl Crawford was back in the lineup after
sitting out Saturday because Valentine said he was instructed by
the team’s medical staff not to start Crawford more than four days
in a row. Crawford said Saturday he anticipates his elbow will
require ligament-replacement surgery at some point, but Valentine
said Sunday he’s never been told that the speedy outfielder needs
an operation. “I don’t think that that’s a definitive situation,”
the manager said. … Ciriaco started at shortstop instead of Mike
Aviles, who is battling a sore toe that’s affecting him at the
plate, according to Valentine. “I’m hoping only a day, but we’ll
see how he feels tomorrow,” Valentine said. … Boston opens a
10-game homestand Monday night against Detroit, with Clay Buchholz
scheduled to face Max Scherzer. … Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain
(dislocated ankle) struck out three in 1 1-3 scoreless innings
during his rehab outing for Double-A Trenton. He threw 23 of 30
pitches for strikes and earned the win in relief against
Harrisburg. … Valentine was also ejected twice during his playing
career and once as a coach. … Swisher returned to New York’s
lineup as the DH after missing seven straight starts with a
strained left hip flexor. … Music man Paul Simon was in the
sellout crowd of 48,526.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)