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Game 143: Yankees vs. Red Sox

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YANKEES (75-67)
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Vernon Wells DH
Alfonso Soriano LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Chris Stewart C

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99)
Kuroda vs. Red Sox [2]

RED SOX (87-57)
Daniel Nava RF
Jonny Gomes LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Carp 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jackie Bradley CF

LHP Jon Lester (13-8 3.88)
Lester vs. Yankees [3]

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network and TBS

WEATHER: Bit of a cloudy sky, but it’s pretty comfortable and looks like a good chance of getting this game in.

UMPIRES: HP Andy Fletcher, 1B Rob Drake, 2B Joe West, 3B Sam Holbrook

FRAME GAME: Yankees batters have scored at least four runs in an inning in five of their last six games. Had at least one inning of four-or-more runs scored in four straight games from September 2-5, marking their second such streak this season (also June 3-6).

SCORING STREAK: The Yankees have scored at least six runs in each of their last six games, marking their longest such streak since a six-game stretch from August 19-25, 2007. They last had a longer streak from July 29 – August 5, 2007 (seven straight games scoring at least six runs).

BUT THE PITCHING: The Yankees have allowed at least 12 runs in consecutive games for the first time since July 17-18, 1996 and in back-to-back games against one opponent for the first time since August 27-28, 1988. The Yankees have done so in consecutive home games for the first time since August 3-12, 1960. This is the Yankees first time doing so in consecutive home games on the same home stand since August 4-6, 1929. Since the Yankees began calling New York home in 1903, the only other time they allowed at least 12 runs in consecutive home games to the same team in the same series was June 28 and July 1, 1907.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: Back-to-back doubles by Ortiz and Carp, especially off a right-hander, that just happens from time to time. Even a good pitcher in a good game could let that happen. But back-to-back walks to the bottom hitters in the order? That seems far more concerning for Kuroda.

UPDATE, 1:54 p.m.: Kuroda looks shaky and the Yankees just wasted a scoring opportunity. Not an encouraging start.

UPDATE, 2:14 p.m.: Wells has been a pretty good No. 2-type hitter — high average and OBP, no reall power — since Girardi started using him strictly as a platoon player about two months ago. But in the No. 2 spot in the order today, Wells has two outs including a double play to end the third inning.

UPDATE, 2:33 p.m.: Rodriguez is able to score from first on a game-tying double by Mark Reynolds. Rodriguez isn’t running particularly well, but he ran well enough on that one.

UPDATE, 2:43 p.m.: Kuroda has actually settled in nicely. Through five innings, still just the one Red Sox run. At 105 pitches, though, Kuroda isn’t going to stick in this game much longer.

UPDATE, 2:47 p.m.: Little bloop single snaps an 0-for-23 for Stewart.

UPDATE, 2:57 p.m.: Three bloop singles and a big two-out, two-run double by Cano. It’s a 3-1 Yankees lead on one hard-hit ball.

UPDATE, 3:10 p.m.: Cano thought about going home, ultimately settled on the out at first base. Yankees concede a run on the play and the Red Sox are within 3-2 with two outs in the sixth. Kuroda going to try to get the last out of this inning while Kelley warms in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 3:31 p.m.: That might have been the biggest at-bat of the game, Kelley getting Pedroia to ground out to end the seventh inning and leave the tying run stranded at third base. Looks like Cesar Cabral might come in to face Ortiz to start next inning. Another big at-bat for an untested lefty against the Red Sox DH.

UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: Stewart getting X-rays on his foot. He was hurt on that hit by pitch in the third inning, and that’s why he’s out of the game.

UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Yep. Here’s Mo for a six-out save opportunity.

UPDATE, 3:43 p.m.: What a pitch for strike three. Ortiz has great numbers against Rivera, but Mo got him in this spot.

UPDATE, 3:56 p.m.: Unless I’m overlooking it in the game log, I can’t find a single game in which Joe Girardi has sent Mariano into a game to start the eighth inning. Certainly Rivera has done it before, and Girardi has used him for two innings before, but I can’t find another example of Girardi even attempting to do this in a regular season game.

UPDATE, 4:06 p.m.: Looked like a routine fly ball off the bat, but the wind’s blowing out now, and Middlebrooks has a game-tying homer in the ninth.