Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Brendan Ryan SS
Chris Stewart C
RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99)
Kuroda vs. Red Sox
RED SOX (89-59)
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Shane Victorino RF
David Ortiz DH
Mike Carp 1B
Daniel Nava LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Stephen Drew SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
RHP John Lackey (9-12, 3.48)
Lackey vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., MY9 and MLB Network
WEATHER: Tonight feels pretty normal, but it’s supposed to get fairly chilly this weekend. The tarp came off the field about an hour ago.
UMPIRES: HP Ted Barrett, 1B Mike DiMuro, 2B Ron Kulpa, 3B Alfonso Marquez
MINOR LEAGUE GUYS GET RINGS TOO: Yesterday, Double-A Trenton used a five-run third inning to beat the Harrisburg Senators, 11-4, for the third Eastern League Championship in franchise history. The Thunder finished the season on a season-high nine-game winning streak and have not lost since August 30. They became the first Eastern League team to sweep both the divisional and championship rounds of the postseason since Albany-Colonie (also a Yankees affiliate) did it in 199). The championship is the Thunder’s first since the team won the second of their back-to-back titles in 2008.
WILD TIMES: Last night the Yankees scored the game winning run on a wild pitch in the ninth inning for the second time this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees are one of two Major League teams to have game-winning runs score on wild pitches in the ninth inning or later of two games this season (also Miami on August 10 and April 30). Elias also notes that it is the first time in the expansion era (since 1961) that the Yankees have won two games in a single season in that fashion. Their last such win before this year was May 2, 1988 at Chicago.
KEEP IT CLOSE: The Yankees have won each of their last two games — Wednesday and Thursday in Baltimore — after being tied after eight innings. The Yankees have Major League Baseball’s best winning percentage (.733, 11-4) this season in games that are tied after eight innings.
UPDATE, 7:32 p.m.: Three hits and two runs already off Kuroda in the first inning. He’s thrown 21 pitches, still needs out No. 3.
UPDATE, 7:38 p.m.: Two-run double by Drew and it’s already 4-0. Still only two outs in the first.
UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Soriano catches a line drive to get Kuroda out of a rocky but ultimately scoreless second inning. He’s over 50 pitches already.
UPDATE, 8:02 p.m.: Brendan Ryan just homered. That’s gotta count for at least two runs, right?
UPDATE, 8:45 p.m.: Kuroda is somehow through five innings without allowing another run. It’s still 4-1 and Kuroda’s at 87 pitches. He might actually go six innings in a game when it seemed he should be pulled in the first.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: I had no idea Shane Victorino could still do that. He was probably the most exciting player I ever covered in the minor leagues. Not the best, just the most exciting blend of tools. Nice running catch robbed Overbay of a double and might have taken away a run if Soriano would have been able to score from first. It’s now 4-2 Red Sox.
UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: Kuroda through the sixth. He really turned this thing around, but that four-run first inning looms large as the Red Sox take a two-run lead into the final three innings.
UPDATE, 9:21 p.m.: Unreal. The Yankees have tied the game at 4 on a two-out, two-run double by Cano. This game seemed over in the first.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: The Yankees pulled even in the top of this inning, and now Claiborne has allowed a grand slam to put the Red Sox right back in firm control. What a brutal blow.