The Yankees are back in first place by a half game after the Rays lost in the ninth inning this afternoon. Unless you count Opening Day, tomorrow will be the first time the Yankees have been in first place going into a game against the Red Sox this season.
The Yankees and Red Sox last played against one another on May 18. On that day…
• The Yankees starting lineup had Brett Gardner in center field, Randy Winn in left field and Marcus Thames in right field (against a right-handed starter). Curtis Granderson was on the disabled list at the time, and Nick Swisher was dealing with a sore biceps. Nick Johnson had gone on the DL 10 days earlier, so Juan Miranda was starting at DH.
• Before the game, Jorge Posada talked about his sore right foot and was hopeful he would be in the starting lineup the next night. “It just feels funny walking on it,” he said. Two days later, he would go on the DL with a hairline fracture.
• Considerable rain fell before the game, and just before the first pitch, Greg Golson was optioned to make room for Mark Melancon. For many reasons, that move will not be happening this time.
• The Red Sox used four hitters – Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Van Every and Jeremy Hermida — who are no longer on their active roster.
• Mariano Rivera blew the save and took the loss because of two unearned runs (Thames made an error in right). It remains Rivera’s only loss of the year. His line since then: 27.1 IP, 13 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 25 K. He’s 3-0 with 15 saves and a 0.66 ERA.
• The Yankees fell to three games back in the division. At the time, it was their largest division deficit of the year. Five days later they would be six games back. A month later, tied for the division lead. A month after that, in first place by three games.