The somewhat depleted Red Sox came away from their weekend 4-game series with the Yankees splitting the series at 2 games each in the Bronx. The series got off to a good start for Boston with a 6-3 win behind Clay Buchholz's pitching performance and Ryan Kalish's 2-run homer in the top of the 6th on Friday night.
Lackey and Beckett were were stuck with the losses on Saturday and Sunday, with the Yankees winning 5-2 in the day game Saturday and 7-2 for the Sunday night game. During the Sunday night game, Derek Jeter passed Babe Ruth on the career hits list with 2,874 hits for 38th all time with a 2nd inning single and Yankees starter Dustin Mosley got the W.
But the Sox had a chance to salvage a split from the 4-game series with a win today. Jon Lester pitched 6 and 1/3rd shutout innings with run support from a Bill Hall RBI single and a JD Drew groundout with a runner at third in the top of the 2nd inning. Over the first six innings, Lester gave up 2 hits before giving up a single to Jorge Posada, a double to Marcus Thames and hitting Austin Kearns with a pitch to get into a bases loaded with one out jam in the bottom of the 7th.
On came Daniel Bard to keep the Yankees off the board with runners everywhere with nowhere to put 'em. Bard would strike out Jeter and Swisher to end the threat, but go on to give up a solo homer to Mark Teixeira to lead off the bottom of the 8th. A-Rod would then single before Robinson Cano grounded out and Jorge Posada walked. Bard got new Yankees acquisition Lance Berkman to pop out to left field before Papelbon came on for a 4-out save. In the bottom of the 9th, Papelbon struck out Granderson before walking Jeter and then striking out Swisher and Teixeira to close out his 28th save of the year and Boston's 2-1 win.
The Sox will travel north to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays Tuesday night. The Jays came off a convincing 3-game sweep of Tampa Bay over the weekend and on Sunday carried a Brandon Morrow no-hitter into the 9th at the Rogers Centre before Evan Longoria was able get a 2-out single. Morrow would close it out for the 1-0 Toronto win. Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-3; 3.96 ERA) will go up against Ricky Romero (9-7; 3.37 ERA).
OTHER SOX NEWS: Carlos Delgado signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last week in the hopes of getting called up to Boston by September. Delgado hadn't played a major-league game since May 2009 and went 0-3 against Scranton Wilkes-Barre's Kei Igawa in Pawtucket's 2-1 loss at PNC Field in Moosic, PA on Monday night
NFL: Are you ready for some football!? Me neither.
Neither were the Cowboys or Bengals during Sunday night's pre-season Hall of Fame Game, apparently. Dallas came away with the 16-7 in over Cincy, but the real story was the NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2010.
Not surprisingly, receiver Jerry Rice was a first ballot Hall of Famer. Rice had a record-setting 1549 receptions for 22,895 yards and 197 career TD's in a 20 year NFL career, most of which was spent in San Francisco as the favorite target of Joe Montana and Steve Young. Rice also played for the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks later on in his career.
Running back Emmitt Smith, the last of the Cowboy's 'triplets' (Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin) to be nominated to the hall of fame was also inducted over the weekend. Smith had a career 18,355 yards and 164 rushing TD's (both league bests).
ELSEWHERE IN THE NFL: President Obama took time out of his busy schedule of golfing, shooting hoops and fundraising to welcome the New Orleans Saints for the defending Super Bowl Champion's traditional visit to the White House this weekend. The team was welcomed with a number of Gulf Coast dishes in the East Room and a band playing 'When the Saints go Marching In'. Later on, Saints players also met with injured soldiers and their family members recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
NHL: An arbitrator upheld the league's invalidation of Ilya Kovalchuck's big money 17-year contract on Monday.
The NHL's decision went into arbitration after the NHL Player's association filed a grievance against the league, but the arbiter ruled that the Devils and Kovalchuck circumvented the NHL's salary cap with the 17 year $102 million deal by having the salary taper off sharply in the last five years.
Technically Kovalchuck remains a free agent, but has already expressed an interest in attempting a 2nd time to sign long-term with the Devils.