Garcia shuts down Red Sox, Yanks win 9-1
Freddy Garcia wants to keep starting for the Yankees.
The 35-year-old right-hander pitched six scoreless innings
Saturday in his last regular-season outing, helping New York beat
the Boston Red Sox 9-1 and improving his chances of earning a
”I need to pitch good today,” Garcia said. ”I was really
happy about it, and now I look forward to my next start. I don’t
know when, but hopefully, they will make a decision and let me
know. … Hopefully, they will give me the ball and I’ll be there
to pitch. That’s what I do.”
The Yankees so far have a first-round playoff rotation of CC
Sabathia and rookie Ivan Nova. Phil Hughes tested his bad back in a
bullpen session and was very positive, but he could end up in a
relief role because of his experience there. A.J. Burnett, one of
the starters Sunday in the split-doubleheader, has struggled again
in the second half. And Bartolo Colon has faded.
”He’s definitely one of the guys that we’re considering. Freddy
is a guy who’s been there and done all that,” manager Joe Girardi
said. ”So, as we move forward, we’ll continue to look at all these
things. But today, he pitched great.”
Garcia (12-8) allowed 15 runs in his previous three outings but
kept Boston at bay with slow breaking pitches. On his final batter,
Garcia fielded Marco Scutaro’s comebacker and nonchalantly pounded
the ball in his glove before tossing to first.
Derek Jeter capped a six-run second inning with a three-run
homer, rookie Jesus Montero had four RBIs in finishing a triple shy
of the cycle and the Yankees dropped the Red Sox to 4-15 since
Boston held a nine-game lead over the Rays in the AL wild-card race
on Sept. 4. Tampa Bay’s 6-2 win over Toronto cut the Red Sox lead
to 1 1-2 games with four to play.
The Yankees clinched home-field advantage through the AL
championship series when Detroit lost to Baltimore later
Before a regular-season record crowd of 49,556 at the new Yankee
Stadium, the AL East champion Yankees used their ”A” lineup for
the opener of the series that was pushed back by a rainout Friday.
They quickly roughed up Jon Lester (15-9).
By the ninth, all the starting position players except Nick
Swisher were out of the game.
Montero hit the fourth homer of his brief big league career,
doubled in two runs in the third and had an RBI single in four
at-bats. Russell Martin backed his declaration of dislike for the
rival Red Sox with a two-run single.
”We’ve said he’s a dangerous bat,” Girardi said of Montero.
”We’ve said that all along.”
Boston had been 6-0 at Yankee Stadium this year and 11-4 against
New York overall. Lester had already beaten Garcia twice this
season and had won each of his last four starts in the Bronx.
”A disappointing game,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
”We didn’t finish a couple of plays, and they made us pay.”
With runners on first and second, shortstop Scutaro went deep
into the hole to field Andruw Jones’ grounder. He seemed to have a
chance to get the lead runner at third base but stumbled slightly
and had to throw across his body to second. His throw was late,
leaving the bases loaded.
Montero then hit a sharp grounder out of Scutaro’s reach for the
first run. Martin followed with a sinking liner to left field that
hit off the glove of a sliding Carl Crawford for two more runs.
”I just tried to make a play at it. Didn’t make it,” Crawford
Jeter, whose batting average is up to .297 after a first-half
slump, followed with a drive into the right-field seats to make it
6-0. Before the game, the Yankees captain carried the bat Roger
Maris used to hit his 61st homer onto the field as part of 50th
”We need to stay sharp. There are a few more games until the
playoffs start, so we need to keep it going,” Jeter said.
Lester gave up a two-out, two-run double to Montero in the third
and was done, having given up eight runs. After Lester retired the
first four batters, the Yankees were 8 for 12 against him.
The short outing – 55 pitches 2 2-3 innings – might make it
easier for Francona to use Lester on short rest in Wednesday’s
Boston’s starters fell to 3-10 with a 7.34 ERA in the last 19
Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect, connected off Junichi Tazawa
in the sixth for his fourth homer in 51 major league at-bats. All
his home runs have gone to the opposite field in right.
NOTES: The game lasted 2 hours, 59 minutes – speed baseball as
far as these two teams go. … Jeter has hits in 18 of his last 20
games. … Francona said he’s still unsure how Kevin Youkilis
(sports hernia) can help the team. ”He’s will to try to do
anything we ask him to do,” Francona. The Red Sox are going to
give it a couple more days to see how he feels. … Michael Jordan
watched the game from a suite. … Boston’s John Lackey and Tim
Wakefield face Burnett and Nova in the split-doubleheader