Martin keys Yanks' rally, but Red Sox prevail in 10
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YORK -- The fastball darted toward Pedro Ciriaco's hands and induced the weak contact that David Robertson wanted, but the Yankees were still helpless to watch as the game-winning hit plopped into shallow right field.
Ciriaco connected for a RBI single that pushed the Red Sox ahead in the top of the 10th inning, knocking home Jarrod Saltalamacchia with the decisive run as the Yankees swallowed a bitter 3-2 loss on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
"It's tough, but it's part of the game," Robertson said. "You're going to catch bad breaks at times. I made a good pitch, and he hit it where nobody could catch it. It's a tough break, and all you can do is be ready for tomorrow."
Robertson (1-4) faltered in a wild top half of the 10th that featured the ejection of Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who fired his wad of gum onto the warning track in foul ground in frustration. Yet Robertson was kicking himself most for issuing a free pass to Saltalamacchia.
"That's what haunts me in that inning," Robertson said. "Leadoff walks always come back to haunt you."
Valentine was tossed by home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora after vehemently arguing that a pitch, ruled a strike on a bunt attempt, clipped Will Middlebrooks' wrist. The Yankees thought it hit the bat, but Middlebrooks singled anyway on a 0-2 curveball, and Ciriaco punched the go-ahead hit over the drawn-in infield.
"They were playing in, so when I hit the ball, I thought I had a very good chance," said Ciriaco, an unlikely Yankee punisher who is 11-for-22 with six RBIs in five games against New York. "I got a little lucky. Not too hard, not too soft."
Former Yankee Alfredo Aceves (2-6) recorded the last seven outs of the game for the victory, finishing up after he blew a four-out save opportunity in the eighth.
Russell Martin accounted for the Yankees' offense, slugging a solo homer off starter Felix Doubront in the seventh inning, then lacing a game-tying RBI single facing Aceves in the eighth to set up the first extra-inning game played at Yankee Stadium this year.
"I feel good right now. I feel like I'm seeing the ball well," Martin said. "That's the first key. I'm working a lot with [hitting coach] Kevin Long. It's helped out."
Andrew Miller had recorded the first two outs of the eighth before Andruw Jones kept the inning alive with a double. Martin greeted Aceves with a line drive to center field, taking Hiroki Kuroda off the hook after the right-hander's sharp outing lacked run support.
"You've got to stay tough," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "You've got to pitch tough every inning, and usually with this offense, you're going to get some good results. It just didn't happen today."
Kuroda's only blemish appeared in the second inning on Ryan Sweeney's two-run double to left field, and New York turned four double plays to erase baserunners behind him.
Kuroda accepted a no-decision, permitting two runs and seven hits. He walked one and struck out four, and has limited opponents to two earned runs or less in each of his last three starts.
"I felt like Hiro kept us in the ballgame; he threw the ball really well," Martin said. "He made maybe just one mistake early in the game to Sweeney, and other than that, he was tremendous. When your pitcher's throwing like that, you want to score him some runs, get him the 'W.' It just didn't happen for us today."
Doubront managed to stay one step ahead, holding New York to four hits and striking out eight over 6 1/3 effective innings.
The Yankees couldn't capitalize on Doubront's five walks and were limited to two singles -- both by Nick Swisher -- through the first six scoreless innings.
"Felix was great," Valentine said. "For a guy that some people thought shouldn't be pitching in this big series, he pitched his heart out. I don't know how we could've pitched any better."
Martin broke up the shutout with his blast to right field, Martin's 12th homer of the season and his fourth since the All-Star break.
"We've said all along, we thought his at-bats the second half have been really good," Girardi said. "We see a different hitter."
That seventh inning presented the Yankees with a great opportunity for more damage, as Ichiro Suzuki legged out an infield single, marking his sixth consecutive game with a hit for New York. With Derek Jeter batting, Ichiro then stole second on Matt Albers.
Jeter punched a single through the right side to give New York runners at the corners with one out. But Curtis Granderson couldn't get the run home, offering a shallow flyout to left, and Mark Teixeira grounded out to end the inning.
The Yankees were 0-for-7 with runners on base against Doubront, who has a 2.41 ERA in three career starts against New York.
"We didn't really have a lot of opportunities," Girardi said. "We had one chance early in the game and we weren't able to get it done. Doubront was tough on us. He's been tough on us all three of his starts."