Four games in three days at Fenway. We all knew it was coming, and we knew there was no hope of making it quick and easy. The best the Yankees could hope for was to win a few more games and go into the All-Star break on a roll, which is exactly what they’ve done.
“I’d rather play four-hour games that we win than four-hour games that we lose,” Mark Teixeira said.
The Yankees took three of four here in Boston. They have the best record in baseball and a seven-game lead in the American League East. Monday will mark seven weeks since the Yankees lost that game against Kansas City, the loss that dropped them into a last-place tie with a .500 record. Since then they’ve gone 31-12.
“There’s a lot more attention paid when we play Boston,” Derek Jeter said. “But I think we’ve been playing good regardless of who the opposition has been.”
• Jeter was rolling his shoulder around quite a bit tonight, especially early in the game. “It’s fine,” he said. “Just a little muscle spasm.” He’s still going to Kansas City and still planning to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
• With that muscle spasm, Jeter had three hits including a first-inning single. He’s now hitting .400 in the first inning this season. He also tied Carl Yastrzemski for 16th place on baseball’s all-time runs scored list with 1,816.
• That said, which Jeter moment do you most remember from tonight’s game? “I wish I had a good story for you to say a bird hit it or something, but it basically was a popup and I dropped it,” Jeter said. “Nothing else to say. I think I’ve done it one other time in my career that I can remember, in Anaheim. I don’t know, man. I dropped it. I had two hands, and it didn’t go in my glove or my hand, so I dropped it. It’s probably, if you think about it, it’s probably the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a player on defense. Whether it’s an infielder, outfielder, catcher. I wish I could tell you the wind was gusting and blew it all over the place, but it didn’t happen. I just dropped it.”
• Jeter said absolutely no one on the bench gave him a hard time about the error. “No, you don’t do that,” Jeter explained. “Because then there will be more popups hit. I remember the last time I did it, I was laughing at Johnny. Johnny Damon missed a popup to left field the day before and I was laughing at him, and the next day I dropped a popup.”
• Girardi’s take on the dropped popup: “I’ve seen it happen twice and both of them were under my managerial watch, so it must be me. He’s as good on popups as I’ve ever seen.”
• Andruw Jones has four home runs in two days. Surely he’d rather keep playing than take an All-Star break. “Not really,” he said. “Not after yesterday. I barely made it today.”
• After throwing a lot of pitches early, Ivan Nova admitted that he didn’t think he’d be able to pitch past the fifth inning tonight. Instead, he started getting some quicker innings and gave the Yankees six innings with 10 strikeouts. “I wanted to keep pitching all day,” he said. “But (Girardi) said that I threw too many pitches.”
• This was Nova’s second double-digit strikeout game of the year. He said it’s beacuse of being aggressive more than anything else. “I’m getting aggressive, trying to get ahead in the count,” he said.
• Sloppy defense behind him and a lot of men on base tonight, but Nova never let the Red Sox take the lead after that two-run first inning from the Yankees. “He overcame some things tonight and I think that’s a sign of maturity,” Girardi said.
• Robinson Cano’s ninth-inning double extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying Jeter for the Yankees longest streak of the season. He’s hitting .393 with five home runs and 16 RBI during the streak.
• Mark Teixeira hit .348 with two doubles, two homers, seven runs and 10 RBI during this road trip.
• Alex Rodriguez tripled for the first time since April 21, 2010 in Oakland. This was only his fourth triple since the start of the 2007 season.
• Folks, that’s it for me tonight. I’ll be back around tomorrow, but for now, I’m exhausted from a long weekend and I’ve got an early train to catch. Enjoy the break, everyone. Your team is playing very well.
Associated Press photos