Here's a new twist to the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry -- a pitcher being ejected during the game for using a banned substance.
In the second inning, manager John Farrell asked home plate umpire Gerry Davis to check a substance on Yankees starter Michael Pineda's neck. Davis went to the mound, rubbed Pineda's neck and ejected the right-hander for using a banned substance -- presumably pine tar. This comes a little over a week after Pineda faced the Red Sox in New York and it appeared he was using the same substance, but the Red Sox never asked for it to be checked.
"In the second inning it looked like from the dugout there was a substance on his neck, you could see it, I could see it from the dugout. It was confirmed by a number camera angles in the ballpark and give the last time we faced him we felt like it was a necessity to say something," Farrell said. "I fully respect on a cold night you're trying to get a little bit of a grip, but when it's that obvious something has got to be said."
As for the game itself, the Red Sox were able to get two first inning runs against Pineda and never looked back from there, rolling to a 5-1 win. Mike Napoli (RBI) paced the offense with three hits, while Dustin Pedroia (RBI) added two. Derek Jeter's error in the third inning allowed for two of the Red Sox' five runs to be unearned. Brock Holt's RBI single accounted for the final Red Sox run coming in the eighth.
After back-to-back outings of allowing six runs, John Lackey gave the Red Sox a strong outing, something they hadn't received in three games as the right-hander went eight innings allowing a run, while scattering seven hits. He struck out 11 and didn't walk a batter. Koji Uehara came on for the ninth to pick up the save.
"He was outstanding," Farrell said of Lackey. "We staked him to an early lead and he made a number of big pitches particuarly when men on. A lot of strikes, pitched ahead in the count, had very good fastball location and had a much more consistent curve ball tonight, but more than anything it was his ability to stay off the middle of the plate. That is an offense that can do a lot of damage quick and he slowed them down with good location and a good breaking ball."
The teams will conclude their three-game series Thursday night (7:10, NESN) when Felix Doubront will go up against CC Sabathia.
What they'll be saying: Obviously the big takeaway from the game was the pine tar incident in the second inning, but that overshadowed a terrific outing from Lackey. The veteran's 11 strikeouts were the most by a Sox starter this season and were the most by a Red Sox starter against the Yankees since Tim Wakefield had 12 in 2005 ... The Sox were able to score two in the first inning, which has been big for them this year as they are 7-1 in games they score the first run in. Overall the team looked much more crisp and in-tune than in past games and should get a boost when Shane Victorino returns to the lineup, most likely on Thursday.