Doubront gives quality effort, but Sox fall to Yanks
Lefty allows three runs over 6 2/3 innings; Napoli hits solo homer
NEW YORK -- What was mostly a lost, long weekend in the Bronx ended in disappointing fashion for the Red Sox, as they couldn't come up with the elusive big hit in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees on Sunday night.
There also was frustration on a replay call that was overturned, and concern for second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who will have his ailing left wrist examined by the club's medical staff on Monday.
Heading into Monday's off-day, which they will spend in Chicago, the Red Sox are 5-8 after losing three out of four in their first rivalry showdown of the season.
"We played tough ballgames," said manager John Farrell. "The big hit was a little bit elusive. It's frustrating any time you lose a series, no matter if it's home or road."
And for the second straight day, Boston had a tough go of it with the new instant replay system.
On Saturday, Farrell challenged a call at second base, but the call stood. Later in the day, MLB admitted it should have been overturned.
In Sunday's game, the original call in the bottom of the fourth inning was that the Red Sox turned an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. But Yankees manager Joe Girardi challenged it, and the call was overturned, allowing the Yankees to score a run that proved decisive.
"We felt that it was clear that the replay was inconclusive," Farrell said. "Any angle that we looked at, you couldn't tell if the foot was on the bag behind Mike Napoli's leg. Where this became conclusive is a hard pill to swallow. On the heels of yesterday, it's hard to have any faith in the system, to be honest with you."
It seemed like Boston was on the cusp of tying the game or even taking the lead in the top of the eighth, when Napoli started a two-out rally with a double down the line in left against David Phelps. Daniel Nava laid off some tough pitches to draw a walk. A.J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Mike Carp came off the bench to hit for Ryan Roberts, but struck out on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat.
"I think it was a hell of a game," said Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. "Lot of good plays, lot of hard balls hit, good pitching matchup. Good game, somebody's going to end a winner. I think we're going to be fine. It happens all the time."
The inning likely could have turned out differently if not for Ichiro Suzuki racing back to the wall in right to make a tremendous leaping catch to rob Ortiz of extra bases.
"That's an amazing catch," said Girardi. "If he doesn't make that catch, you never know what's going to happen after that, but it appears that it would have been 3-3 after Napoli's hit. It's an amazing catch, and it worked out well that he was there."
Ichiro has made similar catches on Ortiz in the past.
"He's the one guy that's made that play on me a few times. He got that good read, man. Playing the game, he plays deep, but he knows how to read the wall, too. He's good," said Ortiz.
Felix Doubront kept Boston in the game, giving up seven hits and three runs over 6 2/3 innings.
"He was good," said Pierzynski. "When he throws the ball over the plate, he's as good as anybody. I think, what, two of the walks scored. It just drives his pitch count up. It puts him in situations he shouldn't be in. other than that, he threw the ball well."
It was an entertaining game which saw some unusual plays.
In the first, the Yankees had what would have been a sacrifice fly snuffed out in strange fashion. Jacoby Ellsbury risked tagging up and going to third, but he was thrown out before Carlos Beltran could touch home plate.
"That was great," Pierzynski said. "[Jackie Bradley Jr.] threw it right on the money to throw out Ells at third, and saved us a run. That's why you don't make the last out at third, but it worked out for us right there. Jackie deserves a lot of credit for that whole play. The way he threw it, the way he went and got the ball, and the whole deal."
The Red Sox generated a two-out rally in the second on singles by Roberts and Bradley. Jonathan Herrera raked an RBI single up the middle to make it a 1-0 game. Boston tried to extend the lead when Grady Sizemore followed with a single to right. But Bradley, waved around from second by third-base coach Brian Butterfield, was thrown out at the plate.
Back came the Yankees in the third, as Beltran unloaded for a two-run homer to left to put his team up, 2-1.
"I threw a couple of changeups, and I left that one up and I think he was looking for that mistake," Doubront said.
Then came the replay on a ball Francisco Cervelli hit to third. While Cervelli was injured running out the play, Girardi challenged the call.
Farrell was swiftly ejected, as managers are not permitted to argue plays that go under review.
"Seeing it on the screen, to me, you really couldn't tell," said Napoli. "My interpretation is if you really can't tell, whatever they call on the field is what they should [stay with]. We had some chances to win that ballgame, even though they got that run. We had the opportunity to get a win."
Napoli unloaded for a solo homer to left in the sixth to slice the deficit to 3-2.
But that was as close as the Red Sox would get.
"We were really fighting, really battling back as a team," said Bradley. "The pitchers did a good job of keeping the score where it was. We just weren't able to capitalize on everything tonight."