Michael Dwyer- AP
RED SOX- I wouldn't call this most recent road trip for the Red Sox a disaster, but with the team managed only four wins in 10 games while missing out on an opportunity to but some distance between themselves and Tampa Bay.
And for those of us who thought things might start to turn around with some home cookin' were in for a rude awakening on Friday night when the Yankees thumped the Red Sox by a score that would seem more at home in a football game featuring strong defense (10-3). And just to make things even more interesting, Tampa Bay beat Toronto with a walkoff triple in the bottom of the 9th to pull within one game of the Red Sox in the AL East.
What the Red Sox needed on Saturday afternoon was a strong outing from John Lackey, who was searching for his first win since July 12th. Lackey managed to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 2nd before getting some run support in the bottom of the 4th. Big Papi led off the bottom half of the inning with a ground-rule double. Carp then singled to move Papi over to third with nobody out before Daniel Nava struck out looking. Stephen Drew hit into what looked like would surely be an inning ending double play, but Yankees 1B Lyle Overbay overthrew the ball to second and the ball was then air-mailed into the Yankees dugout, bringing Big Papi home to make it 1-0. With two away, Middlebrooks and Ellsbury hit back to back RBI singles to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
The Yankees got a run back with an Ichiro Suzuki RBI groundout in the top of the 5th to make it 3-1. However, that would be all the Yankees would get as the Red Sox started to break the game open in the bottom of the 6th with an RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and an RBI double from Ellsbury. Big Papi tacked on another run with a 1-out solo homer to deep center in the bottom of the 7th to make it 6-1 in Boston's favor. Breslow, Tazawa and Uehara would come out of the pen to relieve Lackey and give Boston the 6-1 win.
Lackey goes 6⅔ innings and gets his first win since the All Star break, allowing just the one earned run, walking three and striking out one. Jacoby Ellsbury led the Red Sox batters by going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI while Big Papi went 2 for 4 with the homer. A-Rod was a conspicuous non-factor for the Yankees by going 0-3- including Lackey's only K of the game.
Tomorrow night's Yankees/Red Sox game will be nationally televised on ESPN before the Red Sox embark on an inter-league road trip on the West Coast. Ryan Dempster [6-8; 4.50 ERA] will get the start against New York's CC Sabathia [10-10; 4.66 ERA] with a first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES- The Philadelphia Phillies announced that they had fired manager Charlie Manuel on Friday after managing the team since 2005. Manuel, who led the team to their first World Series title 28 years in 2008, was replaced with third base coach Ryne Sandberg.
Sandberg, a Hall of Fame second baseman with the Cubs in the 1980s, has managed the minor league Peoria Chiefs and Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The interim appointment as Phillies manager is Sandberg's first to an MLB club.
Manuel's record with the Phillies was 780-636 and the team won five consecutive NL East pennants between 2007 and 2011. However, since the All Star break, Philadelphia has lost 21 of their last 26 games. This was the final year of Manuel's contract with the Phillies and in a press conference on Friday, Manuel made it clear he was still interested in managing.
Charlie Manuel is the winningest manager in the history of the Phillies organization.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS- MLB has announced the suspension of Kansas City Royals veteran infielder Miguel Tejada on Saturday. Although the announcement came shortly after the league announced a dozen suspensions of MLB players as a result of the Biogenesis Clinic HGH investigation, the league cited multiple violations of MLB's methamphetamine policy. In 53 games with Kansas City this season, Tejada has hit .288 with 3 homers and 20 RBI.
Tejada came up through the Oakland system in the 1990s and parlayed his 2002 AL MVP award into a lucrative $72 million six year deal with the Baltimore Orioles by 2004. Since 2007, Tejada has also played with Houston, San Diego, San Francisco and Kansas City.
PATRIOTS- Just days after a scare regarding Tom Brady's knee in training camp, the New England QB went 11 for 12 with 107 yards and a TD against Tampa Bay in the Patriot's 25-21 win on Friday. Brady showed no apparent signs of distress, but it was mostly Ryan Mallet who got the attention as he stayed in longer and went 12-20 with 137 yards and a TD.
The Patriots will next take on take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Aug 22nd with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 ET.