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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Red Sox Rout the Yankees




BOSTON — It had been 75 years since the Boston Red Sox allowed as many hits to the Yankees as they did on Friday night. But baseball players learn to move on quickly, a lesson instilled in them by the six-month grind of their schedule, and it was easy for the Red Sox to purge the memory.
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“What are you going to do getting mad and going crazy?” David Ortiz said in the losing clubhouse Friday. “Nothing you can do about today. There’s something you can do about tomorrow. That’s what counts.”
Did it ever. Ortiz and the Red Sox flipped the story line on the Yankees, smashing A. J. Burnett in a 14-1 rout. Burnett allowed nine runs, a career high, in his third rough start at Fenway Park this season. The Red Sox gained a game in the American League East and now trail the Yankees by six and a half.
Kevin Youkilis bashed two homers for the Red Sox, and Ortiz did his part, too. He doubled home two runs in the first and added a two-out homer in Burnett’s fifth and final inning. It has been a good week in an uneven season for Ortiz, who is 11 for 28 (.393) with 5 homers and 13 runs batted in over his last seven games.
Burnett (10-7) now has a 14.21 earned run average on Yawkey Way this season, an alarming figure considering his success here before joining the Yankees.
Before this season, Burnett had allowed one earned run in 22 1/3 career innings at Fenway. His success against the Red Sox was a reason he attracted the Yankees last winter, and he held Boston to one hit over seven and two-thirds scoreless innings on Aug. 7.
But that start was at Yankee Stadium. Fenway continues to be a puzzle. He was one out from escaping the first inning despite singles by Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez. But with two outs, Ortiz lifted a curveball to the left-field corner, where it bounced off the Green Monster and away from Eric Hinske, who was starting in place of the injured Johnny Damon.
Hinske spent parts of two seasons with the Red Sox, and he has played left field here before. But he botched a ball Friday and misplayed this one, too. Ortiz was given credit for a double, but if Hinske had fielded the carom, only Pedroia would have scored.
The ball found Hinske again one batter later. Jason Bay singled to left, and the lumbering Ortiz scored ahead of Hinske’s throw. That gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead, and they were just getting started.
With one out in the second, Alex Gonzalez took Burnett over the wall in left field. It was Gonzalez’s first homer since the Red Sox acquired him from Cincinnati on Aug. 15, but hardly his most memorable against the Yankees. He ended Game 4 of the 2003 World Series against them while playing for the Florida Marlins.
After another out, Burnett issued his only walks of the game, to Pedroia and Martinez. They were costly, because Youkilis crunched his 21st homer, making the score 7-0.
Burnett is renowned for his quality stuff — biting curveballs and high-octane fastballs — and he showed it off for a while, setting down the next nine hitters, including consecutive strikeouts of Bay, J. D. Drew and Jason Varitek.
But needing one strike to finish the fifth, Burnett came unglued. Behind in the count by 1-2, Ortiz swatted a 95 mile-per-hour fastball into the Green Monster seats for his fourth home run in six games. Bay and Drew followed with doubles, making the score 9-0, and Burnett was gone after the inning.
It was his 236th career start, and the first in which he allowed more than eight earned runs. He had given up that many five times, the last coming at Fenway on April 25, when he lost a 6-0 lead by giving up eight runs in five innings of a 16-11 loss.
That was another Saturday afternoon telecast on Fox, which has not exactly been “Masterpiece Theater” for the Yankees. They are 2-6 on Fox this season, with losses by these unsightly scores: 22-4, 16-11, 14-8 and 14-4.
This game was a shutout for the Red Sox as long as Tazawa was in the game. In his major league debut against the Yankees Aug. 7, Tazawa gave up a game-ending homer to Alex Rodriguez in the 15th inning of a scoreless game. This time, he worked from the stretch for almost all of his six innings, but never paid for it.
The Yankees left a runner at third base in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings. Melky Cabrera ended three of those innings, the last with a double-play grounder. The Yankees did not score until Nick Swisher’s opposite-field homer off the right-hander Daniel Bard in the seventh.
The Red Sox continued to pile up runs after Burnett departed. Alfredo Aceves retired his first two hitters in the sixth before the 2-3-4 hitters struck again. Pedroia doubled, Martinez singled him home and Youkilis drilled his second homer, making it 12-0.

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