Nothing seems to be getting in the way of the Red Sox. By defeating the Yankees 9-2 Sunday night, the club has won five of their last six and 17 of their last 21, putting them within four games of the magic number to clinch the American League East.
The Red Sox close the season series with a 13-6 record against the Yankees, the first time since 1976 where a team has beaten the Yankees 13 times in a season. The Sox swept the weekend series, which was the first time the Red Sox swept the Yankees at Fenway in a three-game set since June 2009.
"We have been in a good run for awhile here," said manager John Farrell. "Tonight to come out and answer after giving up that run in the first inning and to come back with [Mike Napoli's] big home run, he's swung the bat very well against New York this year and tonight was a primary example of that. To see the production up and down the lineup — it's a deep lineup."
Making his second start since June 8, Clay Buchholz was just as impressive as last Tuesday in Tampa as he improved to 11-0 on the year by going six innings allowing one run (unearned) on two hits while striking out three. Matt Thornton pitched the seventh inning, before Craig Breslow came in for the eighth. Allen Webster allowed a run in the ninth, his first professional relief appearance.
The offense scored three times off Yankees starter Ivan Nova in the first and never looked back in their 11-hit attack. Daniel Nava (RBI) led the way going 4-for-5, while David Ortiz (2 RBI) and Xander Bogaerts added two hits in the win. Mike Napoli crushed a two-run homer to center field in the first inning to account for two of the first three Red Sox runs. He was later ejected in the sixth inning after striking out, which ironically set the single-seasons strikeout record by a Red Sox player with 178.
Boston will have Monday off before hosting the Orioles for three games beginning Tuesday night (7:10, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will take on Scott Feldman.
What they'll be saying: With the win the Red Sox are a season-high 33 games above .500, their most since ending the 2004 season 98-64. They are also the first AL team with 92 wins in their first 151 games since the Yankees in 2010 ... Buchholz is now the second Red Sox pitcher of all-time to have at least 11 wins and no losses in his first 14 starts to the season. The other was Roger Clemens. The streak is the second longest to begin a season since at least 1916, trailing only Clemens' 14-gamer in 1986 ... Napoli continues to crush the Yankees this year as he's hit .375 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs.