The New York Yankees were like a sleeping giant who got awoken by the Boston Red Sox in their Sunday night series finale at Fenway Park in a game that saw fireworks early on.
Before the drama started between the two teams, the Red Sox got off to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning against Yankees ace CC Sabathia with Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 and then Jarrod Saltalamacchia's RBI single to make it 2-0 Boston.
In the top of the second inning, that's where the tension rose when Alex Rodriguez came up to bat to face Boston starter Ryan Dempster.
On the first pitch of the at-bat, Dempster threw behind A-Rod as a bit of a message pitch, but no warnings were issues. On a 3-0 pitch, Dempster then proceeded to drill Rodriguez in the back, which then prompted the home plate umpire to issue a warning, but did not toss Dempster, which prompted Yankees manager Joe Girardi to argue the call and lead to his early ejection, the second of the season. Benches temporarily cleared and the Yankee players were obviously mad, but nobody threw any punches in the altercation.
Later on in the second inning, the Yankees got to Dempster when Eduardo Nunez's RBI single made it 2-1 and then Lyle Overbay's sacrifice fly tied the game at 2-2.
In the top of the third inning against Dempster, Rodriguez hits an RBI groundout to shortstop, which scored Ichiro Suzuki and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Sabathia wasn't able to hold the lead given to him in the bottom of the third inning as David Ortiz hits an RBI groundout to tie the game at 3-3.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Red Sox re-took the lead when Stephen Drew hit a sacrifice fly to score Saltalamacchia and Boston was up 4-3. Later on in the inning, Will Middlebrooks hit his tenth home run of the season, a solo shot off Sabathia and Boston was up 5-3.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Daniel Nava walked with the bases loaded to score Ortiz, which made it 6-3. But the Yankees weren't dead yet facing Dempster.
In the top of the sixth inning, Rodriguez got his revenge against Dempster by crushing his second home run of the season, a solo shot to deep center field, which made the score 6-3. Rodriguez finished the night going 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored and is now hitting .319 on the season.
Later on in the inning with the bases loaded and facing Drake Britton, Brett Gardner hit a bases-clearing triple to deep right field which gave the Yankees the lead again at 7-6. Once with the lead, the Yankees never looked back.
In the top of the seventh inning and pinch hitting for Overbay, Mark Reynolds hits an RBI single to make it 8-6. In the top of the ninth inning, Chris Stewart's RBI single made it 9-6.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Mariano Rivera came on to close it out and earn his 36th save of the season and preserve the victory for the Yankees, as they take two out of three against Boston on the road.
Sabathia picked up the win for the Yankees and improved to 11-10 on the year, while Dempster took the loss and dropped to 6-9.
The Yankees are now 64-59 and just 7.5 back of the Red Sox in the American League East and have also won seven out of their last ten games played, which includes winning their last three series against the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and now, the Red Sox.
The Yankees will welcome in the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday afternoon to begin a three-day, four-game series at Yankee Stadium.
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