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Red Sox Take First Game Against the Yankees, Rays Hot Streak Continues

The AL East-leading Boston Red Sox (59-39) returned from the All-Star break strong and defeated its rival the New York Yankees (51-45), 4-2 on Friday evening.

Felix Dubront

Felix Dubront

A big contributor to the game was Red Sox pitcher lefty Felix Dubront (7-3). In his 6 1/3 innings on the mound, Doubront only gave up three hits with two runs (one earned). He also had three walks with five strikeouts; this outing lowered his ERA to 3.76.

For the Red Sox, a good Dubront outing was a good thing after learning that reliever Andrew Bailey may done for the season with a shoulder injury. He’s on the DL and this represents his second visit this season after an earlier one for a bicep injury.

Adding a little fuel to the pitching fire was the fact that Dubront outpitched the Yankees lefty veteran, Andy Pettitte (7-7).

Also pitching for 6 1/3 innings, he allowed four runs on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Pettitte was also on the mound to see the Red Sox take a 3-0 lead which included two home runs.

Andy Pettitte

Andy Pettitte

In addition to Pettite not having a great night, the Yankees have been hit by the injury bug. Not a huge factor since he’s been out pretty much all season but face of the Yankees Derek Jeter (quad) missed the game as he’s again a member of DL. He was only the tip of the iceberg.

Mark Teixeira (wrist), Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson (pinkie) and Francisco Cervelli (hand) were also not in the game.

But there’s more. In the fifth inning, Zoilo Almonte exited the game with an ankle sprain (X-rays came out negative). He is now on the DL list. Brett Gardner pulled his own cord in the same inning after being called out on a 3-2 pitch count and essentially threw a hissy fit.

You can’t help but ask who’s left on this team?

The Red Sox weren’t without its own injury as Shane Victorino left in the fourth inning with a hammy injury. It looked like his left one, which had caused earlier problems for him this season that had resulted in a DL stint.

As for the Yankees, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. They did rally back in the fourth with a run by Gardner to make it 3-1 and then in the fifth inning Lyle Overbay doubled, whittling the Red Sox lead down to one. But the team said not so fast and Johnny Gomes, who had homered in the second inning, scored a run in the seventh to make it a 4-2 final lead.

And this was only Game 1 of the three-game series for this heated rivalry. It’s been a great year for the Red Sox so far and they sit at 17 to 4 to win this year’s AL pennant and 9 to 1 to win the World Series.

On Saturday, righty John Lackey (7-6) will take the mound against the Yankees righty Hiroki Kuroda (8-6). This could be an interesting duel as these two pitchers sit at the top of the AL with their ERAs: Kurdoa is No 2 with his 2.65 ERA while Lackey sits at No. 4 with his 2.78 ERA.

For Kuroda, he is 0-2 versus Boston this year and Lackey will face this rival for the first time in 2013.

This appears to be the Red Sox’s year and they’ll win again on Saturday (-147, 9.5 o/u).

Jeremy HellicksonIn other AL Central news, the second place Tampa Bay Rays (56-41) defeated the bottom Toronto Blue Jays (45-50), 8-5 on Friday. The win represented the team’s 15th one in 17 games and now they sit only 2.5 games behind the Red Sox.

The Rays overcame a 4-1 deficit thanks to three home runs beginning in the fourth inning.

On Saturday, Rays righty Jeremy Hellickson (8-3) will take the mound vs. Toronto’s lefty Mark Buerhle (5-6).

Looks like another Rays win (-104, 9 o/u).





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