According to an old saying, “Chicks dig the long ball.”
Following a solo homer by Jacoby Ellsbury in the bottom of the first inning, Jonny Gomes hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the second inning to put Boston up 3-0. From there, the Red Sox led for the rest of the game, although the Yankees made things a little tighter, scoring one run in the fourth inning and one in the fifth inning.
The early runs gave the Red Sox hurlers — starting pitcher Felix Doubront and relievers Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow and Koji Uehara — enough cushion to hold off New York’s rally attempt. Given that it’s generally much easier to hold a lead than it is to make a late-game comeback, the long balls immediately increased Boston’s chances of winning.
The Yankees, on the other hand, were put behind the eight ball right away, and with many of their regulars on the disabled list, the odds of them making any rallies are instantly much harder than they would have been with the likes of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis in the lineup.
Unfortunately, New York has dealt with such odds for quite a while now, which is why it currently finds itself in fourth place in the American League East. To be honest, the Yankees are lucky they aren’t more than seven games behind the division-leading Red Sox.
Of course, they’d be two games closer had they won on Friday.