BOSTON -- The Red Sox wrapped up their three-game weekend series with the Yankees with a 9-6 loss, thus dropping two-of-three to the Yanks and now only leading the AL East by one game over the Rays, but that was far from the biggest storyline from Sunday night's game.
Leading off the top of the second inning, after throwing three pitches inside, including the first pitch well behind Alex Rodriguez, Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster drilled Rodriguez in the back leading to both benches emptying. Warnings were issued to both benches and Yankees manager Joe Girardi was irate after Dempster was not ejected, thus getting ejected from the game himself. The Yankees skipper fired his hat to the ground and TV cameras caught him yelling an explicative towards Dempster. Both teams and bullpens gathered on the field, but nothing further ensued, although it did create some tension in the ballpark for some time wondering if the Yankees would respond.
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When asked following the game, both Dempster and the rest of the Red Sox said the hit-by-pitch was completely unintentional.
"No, I was just trying to pitch him inside," Dempster said.
Manager John Farrell echoed his pitcher's comments.
"I'll go back and stand by it, he was trying to establish his fastball in, I don't think he was trying to hit him on purpose," Farrell said.
In terms of the actual game, the Yankees used the beaning to their advantage, scoring twice in the inning to tie the game at two at the time. Each team scored a run in the third, before the Red Sox took the lead back by scoring twice in the fourth inning on a Stephen Drew sacrifice fly and a solo home run off the bat of Will Middlebrooks. The Sox added another in the fifth when Yankees starter CC Sabathia walked Daniel Nava with the bases loaded plating the sixth Red Sox run, and a 6-2 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as Dempster allowed a solo home run to Rodriguez, interestingly enough to lead off the sixth. Rodriguez stopped on home plate and pointed to the sky with both index fingers, likely in response to what took place earlier in the game. After loading the bases later in the inning, Dempster was lifted in favor of Drake Britton who allowed a bases-clearing triple to Brett Gardner giving the Yankees a 7-6 lead. Brandon Workman then relieved Britton and allowed a run one inning of work. Franklin Morales and Junichi Tazawa each worked 2/3 of an inning not allowing a run before Rubby De La Rosa allowed a run in the ninth giving the Yankees the 9-6 win, in which they totaled 17 hits.
In all, Dempster went 5 1/3 innings allowing seven runs on nine hits while striking out three, but still received a standing ovation as he walked off the field where he took his ninth loss of the year. Offensively, the Sox were led by Shane Victorino, David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Middlebrooks who all had two hits apiece in the loss. For the Yankees, Rodriguez finished the night 3-for-4 with two RBIs and scored twice as well.
The Red Sox will now depart to the West Coast for a six-game road trip beginning Monday night (10:15, NESN) against the Giants where Jon Lester will get the start and be opposed by Tim Lincecum.
What they'll be saying: Obviously much of the talk following the game was surrounding what took place in the second inning. All of the Red Sox players who spoke said it was not intentional, but it was on a 3-0 count with all three prior pitches all being inside, including the first pitch which was well behind Rodriguez. Both Girardi and Rodriguez both spoke following the game and were still upset over the pitch with Girardi saying he believes Dempster should be suspended ... Middlebrooks has emerged as possibly the best right-handed bat the Sox have at the moment. Since his return he has hit in eight straight games and is hitting .462 (12-for-26) in those games.