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Salty’s slam sends Sox surging to 90th victory

Sep 13, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT

Jarrod Saltalamacchia AP

Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a seventh-inning grand slam against Yankees reliever Preston Claiborne to break a 4-4 tie. The blast, which came on an 0-1, 92 MPH fastball, cleared the fence in right field at Fenway Park with plenty of room to spare.

The Yankees, despite massive bullpen issues, had won their last three and entered tonight just one game behind the second Wild Card in the American League. Starter Hiroki Kuroda allowed four first-inning runs to the Red Sox, but the Yankees fought back, scoring once in the second, once in the sixth, and twice in the seventh to tie the game at four apiece.

Kuroda took the mound for the seventh, but was quickly removed after allowing a lead-off single to Shane Victorino. Manager Joe Girardi brought in lefty Cesar Cabral to face David Ortiz with the platoon advantage, but Cabral hit Ortiz to put runners on first and second with no outs. Sox manager John Farrell pinch-hit Jonny Gomes for Mike Carp, prompting Girardi to call on Claiborne. Claiborne walked Gomes to load the bases, then rebounded and struck out Daniel Nava to give himself some light at the end of the tunnel as Saltalamacchia came to the plate. Charged with two of the four runs on the grand slam, this marks the third consecutive appearance in which Claiborne has allowed multiple runs. He allowed three runs on September 5 and 6, also against the Red Sox.

For the Sox, starter John Lackey allowed four runs in six and one-third innings. Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara each tossed perfect innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to close out the 8-4 victory. They improve to 90-59, becoming the first team this season to reach the 90 plateau. They temporarily extend their first-place lead in the AL East to nine games over the Rays. The Yankees drop to 79-69, 1.5 games behind the Rays for the second AL Wild Card, pending the result of their game against the Twins.

  1. wilkisoft - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Atta boy, Red Sox!

    • theskinsman - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:16 AM

      The Sox left a lot of guys on base before Salty put the Yanks down. Should have been another blowout.Kuroda was lucky he only gave up 8.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        kuroda gave up 5, claiborne gave up the other 3, but kuroda should have given up at the very least 6-7 runs

  2. sabatimus - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I don’t think I’ve seen a ball go that far back over the Sox bullpen before.

    • hammyofdoom - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      I recall seeing a few Ortiz blasts pass that one in terms of distance, but holy HELL did Salty hit a moon shot. The height in combination with the distance is what made it so impressive

  3. tfbuckfutter - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Preston is a fat kid’s name.

    • moogro - Sep 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      You’re right. Look at his face, he used to be one.

  4. yankeepunk3000 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Kuroda gave up 4. bullpen have up the rest.

    • sabatimus - Sep 14, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      Kuroda gave up 5. The first runner reached on a hit he gave up before Salty cracked it open.

    • bruininnh1984 - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      hence kuroda getting the loss

  5. moogro - Sep 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    One of those games where Claibourne was showing signs of doom 3 batters previously, everyone knew it, yet he still was left in.

  6. jcmeyer10 - Sep 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Had a bad feeling when they couldn’t knock Koruda out then Brendan Ryan hits a homer.

    Had to drive down to CT and had some fun by listening to Yankees broadcast on 97.3 and didn’t really like that team. The older gent dominated and wasn’t all that interesting. Is that the norm?

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