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In his first two at bats in tonight's game, Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez hit his 494th and 495th career home runs, leading the Sox over their arch rivals, the New York Yankees by a score of 7-5. Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff into sole possession of 24th place on the all-time home run list. Eddie Murray is next on the list with 504. Ramirez now has 55 home runs against the Yankees in his career. J.D. Drew (2), Jason Varitek, and Dustin Pedroia also knocked in runs for the Red Sox. Also in the good news column for the Red Sox was ace Josh Beckett looking very solid, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs over 8 innings, while striking out 5 and walking only 1 for the win in by far his longest and best outing of the young season. Closer Jonathan Papelbon came in to close it out in the ninth with a four-run lead and made it interesting, but eventually struck out pinch hitter Hideki Matsui to end the game.
For the second straight start, Mike Mussina was roughed up by Boston, this time only lasting 3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits including the two home runs to Ramirez, with only one strikeout and no walks. I haven't actually seen any of Mussina's action yet this season, so maybe someone reading this can fill me in -- what's the problem? Is it his velocity? His control? Or is it a combination of the two? I can't imagine manager Joe Girardi putting up with this kind of performance from Mussina for very long, although he might need to stick it out for at least a while before they can put prized prospect Joba Chamberlain into the rotation, considering they want to limit him to around 150 innings this season.
Bright spots for the Yankees included Derek Jeter continuing to look good at the plate after returning from injury, knocking a key two-run single in the fifth. They also received fine work from two unlikely sources in the bullpen, Kyle " pr0FF3ss0r " Farnsworth and ex-National (never a good sign) Billy Traber. Melky Cabrera also added a home run in the ninth inning, his 3rd of the year and only the first off of Papelbon so far.
Top Performers by WPA
- Boston: Ramirez, +.250; Beckett +.217
- New York: Bobby Abreu, +.043; Farnsworth, +.013
- Beckett: 64
- Mussina: -2 (ouch!)
Coming Up Next...
The Red Sox head home and welcome in the Texas Rangers (7-9, 4th in AL West), with Luis Mendoza (0-1) taking on Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0). The Yankees travel down to Camden Yards to take on the Baltimore Orioles (9-7, 2nd in AL East), opening with Phil Hughes (0-2) vs. Daniel Cabrera (0-0).