Sloppy defense spoils chance of twin-bill sweep

Sloppy defense spoils chance of twin-bill sweep

Sloppy defense spoils chance of twin-bill sweep
BOSTON -- The Yankees turned in their best work earlier in the afternoon at Fenway Park, which softened the blow somewhat after the door was left open for the Red Sox to secure a split of Saturday's day-night doubleheader.

New York committed a season-high four errors that helped stack seven Boston runs on the Green Monster scoreboard after the fifth inning, leading to a 9-4 defeat on Yawkey Way.

"It's tough; you can't give good teams extra outs and we gave them way too many outs today," shortstop Derek Jeter said. "They capitalized on it, which was good on their part, but we gave them way too many outs."

The twin-bill split came after the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 6-1, in the afternoon contest. Andruw Jones homered twice in support of winning pitcher Freddy Garcia, while Nick Swisher and Jayson Nix also cleared the Green Monster.

Jones homered again in the nightcap off Red Sox starter Felix Doubront, marking his 10th of the season, and also made a sparkling diving catch on a day that seemed to turn back the clock to age 25 for the veteran star.

"I wish I would feel 25," Jones said. "I wish we could take the second [game]. They just got on a streak and scored more runs than us. It's been a long day. I think everybody is kind of tired. We've got to come back tomorrow and take the series."

Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes permitted 10 hits as he battled through 5 1/3 innings of work, though his final line might have looked different if not for a pair of errors behind him that led to runs.

The big hit off Hughes came on his final pitch in the sixth inning, as Pedro Ciriaco laced a three-run double past the dive of Nix at third base that rattled down the left-field line.

"Errors happen," Hughes said. "It's just trying to grind through them and get some outs. When I didn't have my best stuff, it was tough. I'm just going to go into the [All-Star] break, refresh my mind, forget about this one and think back to the starts when I was throwing well and get back on track."

Staked to a near-instant lead by Mark Teixeira's three-run homer in the first inning, Hughes held Boston to one run through four frames before the Yankees' defense began to crack in the fifth.

Curtis Granderson and Darnell McDonald came together on Daniel Nava's lazy fly ball, with both players calling for the ball. The ball ticked off Granderson's glove in center field, but McDonald was charged with the error -- a ruling that Granderson didn't support.

"He didn't touch the ball, so [the error] definitely should have been mine," Granderson said. "I'm not sure what was going on in that situation. If they can change it, they should. He didn't touch it."

The miscue set up Nick Punto's sacrifice fly, and Boston took the lead with a three-run sixth after Jeter booted Cody Ross' ground ball to set up Ciriaco's big hit, dusting off 2004-vintage chants of "Pedro! Pedro!" from the Fenway faithful.

"It's one of those games; we didn't play well," Jeter said. "I thought Phil did a great job. We can't keep giving teams extra outs, and that's what we did. Especially when you're playing a team like that, they have some guys that can swing the bats."

Hughes was charged with five runs (three earned), walking one and striking out three, closing out a first half he classifies as having "a lot of ups and downs."

"I'd like to be more consistent in the second half," Hughes said. "I've just got to take it one start at a time; put together some quality starts and string them together and hopefully that will bring some more consistency."

Doubront settled in to give the Red Sox a good outing after a shaky opening inning, holding New York to four runs (three earned) in 6 1/3 innings as he logged his team-leading ninth win.

"He was tough on us the last time we were here, too," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's got good stuff. His curveball was good, his changeup was good and he throws 95 [mph]."

Doubront retired eight straight through one stretch before Jones interrupted the peace with a loud seventh-inning bomb that cleared the Monster, trimming New York's deficit to one run at the time.

The Red Sox then batted around for a second straight frame in the seventh, knocking Cory Wade for three runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning.

Ryan Sweeney's RBI triple and Mauro Gomez's run-scoring double started the damage against Wade, who was to be returned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Saturday's action.

"We had to ask Cory to get us some outs and it kind of snowballed a little bit," Girardi said.

New York had one last gasp in the eighth, as Vicente Padilla entered with the bases loaded. But Padilla retired both Jones and pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez on foul outs to the catcher to escape the jam.

"We still have a chance to win the series," Girardi said. "Four-game series can be hard. We had a long day today, a long night tonight. I thought our guys played really, really hard. I'm extremely proud of them."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.