Results tagged ‘ Clay Buchholz ’

Teixeira pulls cork out of Red Sox’ champagne

A hero one night, on the bench the next. That was the story with Tyler Austin, whose two-run home run in the seventh inning Tuesday night made the difference in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. All four of Austin’s homers have been go-ahead blasts to right field at Yankee Stadium.

Yet he was not in the lineup Wednesday night as manager Joe Girardi decided to go with Mark Teixeira at first base because of his familiarity with Boston starter Clay Buchholz. Tex is only a .161 hitter in 31 career at-bats against Buchholz, but two of his hits are home runs. Austin has never faced Buchholz.

The Red Sox righthander was long out of the game when Teixeira rewarded Girardi for his confidence in him. Tex kept the Yankees’ wafer-thin playoff hopes alive with a dramatic grand slam to cap an astounding ninth-inning comeback for a 5-3 victory that put a crimp in Boston’s plans to celebrate its clinching the American League East title.

The Red Sox did that minutes earlier when the Orioles pulled off a dramatic comeback of their own in Toronto with one run in the eighth and two in the ninth to knock off the Blue Jays, 3-2. Going into the bottom of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, it appeared as if the Yankees would suffer a double dose of pain by watching the Red Sox celebrate their clinching and being eliminated from the AL wild card race all at the same time. After all, the Yankees had only one hit over the first eight innings and seemed destined to go down without a fight.

Wrong!

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel came in to finish the Yanks off but could not find the plate. Brett Gardner, the one Yankees hitter the Red Sox could not get out (two hits, two walks) started things off with a single to center. Kimbrel then walked the next three hitters to force in a run. The third walk was to Brian McCann, Kimbrel’s old catcher from their days together in Atlanta.

Boston manager John Farrell had seen enough and summoned Joe Kelly, who did the opposite and threw nothing but strikes. He fanned Starlin Castro on three pitches and retired Didi Gregorius on a foul pop. Kelly got ahead in the count 0-1 to Teixeira, who caught up with a 99-mph fastball on the next pitch and slammed it into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center field for his 15th home run of the season and what he told the fans on the field “I hope it will be my last.”

Teixeira, who is retiring at the end of the season, has hit two huge home runs for the Yankees this week. The other was a solo shot in the ninth inning Monday night at Toronto that tied the score and headed the Yanks toward a five-run rally and 7-5 victory. He did not do much against Buchholz, but neither did anyone. Buchholz allowed one hit over six scoreless innings. Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell pitched seven innings of shutout ball and got away with five walks.

The Red Sox struck for three runs in the eighth off Adam Warren, although only one was earned due to an error by Castro. AL Most Valuable Player Award candidate Mookie Betts got the key hit, a two-run double, with the third run scoring on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez with another retiring player, David Ortiz chugging down the line.

In the end, the incredible finish was fashioned by the veteran first baseman who got the starting nod over the guy who was the hero the night before. The Yankees remained four games behind the Orioles with four to play, three against Baltimore after the series finale with Boston Thursday night.

Austin was 3-for-3 Tuesday night, which marked the third time this season that a hitter in the 9-hole had at least three hits in a game. Ronald Torreyes was 4-for-4 Aug. 19 at Anaheim, and Donovan Solano was 3-for-5 Sept. 21 at St. Petersburg, Fla. The Yankees ate tied with the Indians for the most such games this season.

With his 20th home run Tuesday night, Gregorius joined double-play partner Castro in the 20-homer club. Castro has 21 homers. The YES Network reports that Gregorius and Castro are only the third shortstop-second base combination aged 26 or younger in major-league history with at least 20 homers each. The other combos were the Astros’ Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve last year and the Mariners’ Alex Rodriguez and David Bell in 1999. Gregorius tied Tom Tresh (1962) and Roy Smalley (1982) for the fourth highest home run total for a shortstop in franchise history, topped only by Derek Jeter’s 24 in 1999, 23 in 2004 and 21 in 2001.

The Yankees’ 82nd victory guaranteed their 24th consecutive winning season, the second longest stretch in franchise history. The Yankees had 39 straight winning seasons from 1926 through 1964.

Yankees deflate sloppy Red Sox

Just when they thought they might work themselves out of last place in the American League East and give the Yankees a run for their money, the Red Sox shriveled up and died Friday night and had the steam of the weekend series at Fenway Park blow away.

Boston entered the series on a four-game winning streak and with victories in eight of its past 10 games to cut in half the 10-game deficit they faced in the division a fortnight ago. Not only that, on the mound they had their hottest pitcher, Clay Buchholz, who had pitched to a 0.67 ERA in winning each of his previous four starts.

But Buchholz walked off the mound in the fourth inning with an ailing elbow that had turned his pitches into flat, batting-practice stuff. Alex Rodriguez pounded such a pitch over the Green Monster in the first inning in striking the first blow for the Yankees. With Buchholz gone, the Red Sox infield then shot themselves in the feet with two costly errors that helped the Yankees to three gift runs.

Michael Pineda, meanwhile, was keeping Red Sox hitters at bay with another glowing start that raised his season record to 9-5. His only mistake in 6 2/3 innings was a hanging slider to Mookie Betts, who crushed it for his 10th home run with one out in the fifth.

Boston lefthander Reggie Ross retired nine straight batters into the seventh inning to keep the Red Sox close at 4-1, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi was taking no chances. Sensing the importance of winning the series opener to deflate Boston’s newfound confidence, Girardi went to his bullpen in the seventh with a runner on second and two out. Justin Wilson struck out Betts to end the threat.

After the Yankees tacked on an eighth-inning run on a two-out, RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury, Girardi went to his hammer and used Dellin Betances in the bottom of the eighth (two strikeouts, one flyout) and closer Andrew Miller in the ninth. An error by third baseman Cole Figueroa put a runner on base, but Miller finished off a big victory by striking out pinch hitter Shane Victorino.

The Yankees maintained their three-game lead in the AL East over the Orioles and pushed the last-place Red Sox 6 ½ games back. The Yanks have won five straight games at Fenway and are 8-1 in their past nine games there dating to Aug. 2 last year. Since the start of 2014, Yankees pitchers have held Red Sox batters to a .244 batting average in 431 at-bats at Fenway and have allowed double-digit hits just twice in 13 games while Yankees batters are hitting .282 in 478 at-bats and averaging 5.9 per game. Over that span, Yankees relief pitchers have a 2.33 ERA in 46 1/3 innings and have allowed one earned run or less in 11 of the 13 games.

After the game, the Yankees also announced plans to recall second baseman Rob Refsnyder from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Refsnyder was batting .290 with a .387 on-base percentage in 81 games for the RailRiders. He had 17 doubles, seven home runs, 37 RBI and was 10-for-11 in stolen bases but also committed 13 errors as the converted outfielder is still somewhat unsteady at his new position.

Tanaka benefits from huge run support

The Yankees took much of the heat off teammate Masahiro Tanaka Sunday night with their first-inning explosion against the Red Sox and Clay Buchholz. Tanaka pitched with leads of 7-0 and 10-4 in his five innings, which created a comfort zone that the righthander surely needed.

The atmosphere surrounding Tanaka following his Opening Day loss has been tense to say the least. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has grown weary of questions regarding the deep dip in Tanaka’s velocity as he pitches with a slight ligament tear in his elbow that doctors said would respond to off-season rest rather than having him undergo Tommy John surgery.

Before a national television audience on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Tanaka showed the country his 2015 version as he once again relied on cut fastballs and sliders to get ahead in the count and his devastating split-finger fastball to finish off hitters. The mid-90s four-seam fastballs that were part of his repertoire are few and far between these days.

The results were, well, just okay. Tanaka gave up four runs (three earned), four hits and three walks with four strikeouts and two wild pitches in a 79-pitch outing that was frankly only marginally better than his first start. He did chalk up his first victory due largely to the welcomed overwhelming offensive support, but through two starts Tanaka’s earned run average is an unappetizing 7.00.

With their first imposing surge of offense this season to fashion a 14-4 victory, the Yankees pushed Tanaka to the side of the storyline for this game. Concern about their ability to score was growing daily for a team that went into Sunday night’s game batting a collective .193 and averaging 3.4 runs per game.

“Obviously, it takes a lot of pressure off the starting pitcher,” Girardi said. “I thought [Tanaka’s] fastball was better than the first game, but he had trouble throwing his breaking balls for strikes, which was the opposite of his first game. His location was better with his fastball down in the zone, but he wasn’t as sharp with his slider.”

The Yanks staked Tanaka to a 7-0 lead in a first inning highlighted by a three-run double by Alex Rodriguez and back-to-back home runs by Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. They kept it up against Buchholz, who departed in the fourth after allowing 10 runs (nine earned) and nine hits.

By the sixth inning, everyone in the Yankees’ starting lineup had gotten at least one hit and scored at least one run. A-Rod picked up a fourth RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the three-run sixth against lefthander Tommy Layne. Headley finished with three RBI and Drew and Brett Gardner two apiece.

Brian McCann scored three runs and had two hits, including the 200th home run of his career, a solo shot in the eighth inning off Edward Mujica. The victory was vital what with the Yankees embarking on a 10-game, 11-day trip that starts Monday night at Baltimore.

Yankees roll ‘7’ in first inning

The Yankees went into Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox having played 55 innings of baseball this season and had the lead in only one of them. They made it two with a huge first inning that handed Masahiro Tanaka a 7-0 advantage.

It was encouraging to see the Yankees’ somewhat sluggish offense put together a sustained attack, aided by a lackluster Clay Buchholz, Boston’s starting pitcher, and uncertain defense by first baseman Mike Napoli.

As if to spark the stodginess of the Yankees’ offense this past week, manager Joe Girardi rolled the dice a bit in the first after Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a walk. Forcing the action, Girardi called for a hit-and-run and struck paydirt when Brett Gardner lined a single to left-center against an overshift that sent Ellsbury on an easy course to third base.

Napoli could only get one out at second base — and barely that — on a chopper by Carlos Beltran as Ellsbury crossed the plate for that rare Yankees lead. Mark Teixeira walked on a 3-2 pitch, and Napoli fumbled another grounder by Brian McCann, which filled the bases.

Alex Rodriguez jumped on a first-pitch cut fastball from Buchholz and drove a liner to left center for a double that cleared the bags. Chase Headley followed with his second home run in three days, a two-run shot to right off a 2-2 pitch. Stephen Drew made it back-to-back long balls with another drive to right for his first home run.

In one inning, the Yankees had scored more runs than in their previous 22 innings combined.

Ellsbury draws blood vs. Red Sox

Jacoby Ellsbury hurt his old team Thursday night as the Yankees and Red Sox renewed their ancient rivalry in the opener of a four-game series. Ellsbury, who departed Boston where he was a member of two World Series champions to sign a seven-year contract with the Yankees, drove in a run in the fifth inning with a single

The hit scored Derek Jeter, who had doubled with two out. Ellsbury, who had been expected to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter, has proved valuable in the 3-hole where he can take advantage of RBI situations. The injury to Mark Teixeira (strained right hamstring) prompted manager Joe Girardi to toy with his lineup as he moved Brett Gardner to leadoff and dropped Ellsbury to third.

Dean Anna opened the fifth for the Yankees with his first major-league home run, taking Clay Buchholz deep on a 1-1 pitch. Anna started at second base in place of slimping Brian Roberts. The Yankees acquired Anna in a trade from the Padres. Playing with San Diego’s Triple A Tucson affiliate last year, Anna led the Pacific Coast League in batting with a .331 average. The Yanks liked his versatility in the infield this spring.

The Yankees’ first two runs, in the fourth inning, were unearned. An error by third baseman Jonathan Herrera on a grounder by Ellsbury opened the gate for the Yankees. After Carlos Beltran singled to right field, Brian McCann ended a 0-for-14 slump with a single over first base and down the right field line that scored Ellsbury and sent Beltran to third. Beltran scored the second run as Alfonso Soriano grounded into a double play.

Stormy night for Kuroda

The rain that was expected before Sunday night’s game didn’t start falling until after the fifth inning. After David Ortiz led off the sixth with his 10th home run to push the Red Sox’ lead to 3-0 and Mike Napoli singled, rain came down hard during Stephen’s Drew at-bat and after he flied out to left field play was interrupted.

For the second straight start, the Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda was paired with an unbeaten opposing starter. Last Tuesday night at Citi Field, it was the Mets’ 5-0 Mike Harvey in a game the Yanks eventually lost in the bottom of the ninth inning on the first blown save of the year by Mariano Rivera. Sunday night Kuroda was pitted against Boston’s 8-0 Clay Buchholz, who has mounted a Cy Young Award candidacy in the early going.

The Yankees managed two measly singles off Buchholz in the first five innings as their offensive malaise continued. Kuroda had a stretch of 10 consecutive scoreless innings end in the fourth as the Red Sox scratched out a run on successive singles by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz and an infield out by Mike Napoli for his sixth RBI of the series.

The Red Sox jolted Kuroda with leadoff home runs in the fifth and sixth, respectively, by Jose Iglesias, his first of the season, and Ortiz. The two home runs in successive innings equaled the total Kuroda had allowed in his previous four starts covering 24 2/3 innings.

Play resumed but only momentarily. Boone Logan took over for Kuroda and finished the top of the sixth. Andrew Miller was announced as the Boston reliever for Buchholz but did not throw a pitch as another thunderstorm hit merely four minutes after the resumption of play. Back came the tarp. The crew got the infield covered in time as a storm of somewhat violent proportions resulted in cascades of water soaking Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox’ 3-0 victory in the rain-shortened game was the seventh loss in the past eight games for the Yankees, who have totaled 15 runs over that stretch for an average of only 1.88 runs per game. By taking the series, 2 games to 1, Boston increased its lead in the American League East to three games over the Yankees, who dropped into third place, a half-game behind Baltimore.

The only good news for the Yankees was that catcher Chris Stewart found out that he does not have a concussion. Stewart was scratched from the starting lineup because of light-headedness and underwent a CT scan and other tests at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Stewart’s status will be re-evaluated Monday when the club also has a decision to make about how to create space on the 25-man roster for Andy Pettitte, who is expected to come off the disabled list to start the opener of a three-game series against the Indians.

Yanks in spoiler mood against Buchholz

The Yankees went into Sunday night’s finale of the three-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium with Hiroki Kuroda paired with Clay Buchholz. The Boston righthander took a 7-0 record into the game against Kuroda, who was 6-3.

This is the third time the Yankees have faced a pitcher with a record of 5-0 or better. They split the previous two such games by winning May 25 at Tropicana Field against the Rays’ Matt Moore, who was 8-0, and by losing May 28 at Citi Field against the Mets’ Matt Harvey, who was 5-0. Both starters had no-decisions.

Mark Teixeira was in Sunday night’s lineup for the 1,500th game of his major-league career. The first baseman ranks among switch hitters prior to their 1,500th game first in RBI (1,101) and second in home runs (338) only to Mickey Mantle (359).

When Teixeira returned to the lineup Friday night after missing the first 53 games of the season because of a right wrist injury, it marked the first time this year the Yankee had a switch hitter in the lineup. The 53 games were the longest without a switch hitter in the Yankees’ batting order at any time during a season since 1992 when they went 100 straight games without one.

The Yankees have yet to lose more than two consecutive home games, a distinction they share in the American League with the Tigers and the Rangers. The Yanks last lost more than two home games in a row July 28-31 last year when they dropped four straight games.

Yankees batters have combined for seven walks in their past two games, which ended a stretch of three straight games in which the team had no walks against the Mets. As for Yanks pitchers, they have allowed a major-league-low 133 bases on balls, including 17 over the past 10 games dating to May 22 and not issuing a walk in four of those games. Yankees hurlers are averaging 2.43 walks per nine innings, the lowest in the majors and their lowest mark since 2003 (2.31).

With a victory Friday night, CC Sabathia improved his record in career starts in which his team was on a losing streak of five or more games to 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 50 2/3 innings with his third consecutive victory in such situations.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sabathia became the first Yankees pitcher to end a streak of at least five team losses with a 10-strikeout, no-walk performance since 1910 by Russ Ford, who pitched a complete-game shutout with 10 Ks and no walks against the St. Louis Browns to stop a seven-game losing streak by the old Highlanders.

Not a happy anniversary for Red Sox

The Yankees got revenge for their forefathers Friday by raining all over the Red Sox’ parade on the centennial of Fenway Park’s opening. On that April 20 date in 1912, five days after RMS Titanic perished in the North Atlantic, the Red Sox beat the Highlanders, 7-6, in 11 innings.

The loss extended their season-opening losing streak to six games in what would become the worst season in the history of New York’s American League franchise. Is it any wonder that after a 50-102 record that the club took on a different name, the Yankees, and a different uniform from the one the 2012 version wore to commemorate the Boston yard’s 100th anniversary?

All the pomp and circumstance fell victim to the reality of the Red Sox today, a floundering team that is trying to recover from that September collapse last year with a new manager who already has alienated some players in his own clubhouse. Bobby Valentine heard his share of boos from the Fenway faithful whenever he walked on the field to make pitching changes.

The Yankees have a long history of ruining things for the Red Sox, and the 6-2 victory Friday was the latest. It got off to shaky start for Boston. The Yanks and Red Sox may have worn replica uniforms of the period but not replica equipment. The second baseman’s glove worn by Dustin Pedroia was a lot bigger than that of his 1912 predecessor, Steve Yerkes, but it could not contain Derek Jeter’s leadoff popup that popped out for an error.

A wild pitch by Clay Buchholz put Jeter in scoring position. Alex Rodriguez drove him in from second base with a single to center. After that, the Yankees clouted five home runs off Buchholz, who has been something of a punching bag for them over the year, and got a strong six innings from Ivan Nova to disappoint a Fenway turnout of 36,770.

Buchholz fell to 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA for this season and 2-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his career against the Yankees, who have batted .314 with a .551 slugging percentage off the righthander. Buchholz has allowed 58 hits, including 11 doubles ad and 11 home runs, and 20 walks in 44 2/3 innings against the Yankees.

There was very little of the usual buzz associated with Yankees-Red Sox games. Two home runs by Eric Chavez and one apiece by Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin quieted the crowd. A-Rod’s homer was career No. 631 as he passed former Mariners teammate Junior Griffey for fifth place all-time. Ahead of him is Mount Rushmore: Willie Mays at 660, Babe Ruth at 714, Henry Aaron at 755 and Barry Bonds at 762. The Yankees are starting to muscle up with nine home runs in the past two games.

Jeter singled in the second inning for career hit No. 3,111, pushing him past boyhood idol Dave Winfield into 18th place on the career list. Next up the ladder at 3,141 is another Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn.

Nova ran his winning streak dating to June of last year to 15 games. He gave up seven hits, including a home run by David Ortiz, but did not walk a batter, struck out five and limited Boston to one hit in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position. On a day when Andy Pettitte had another good outing in a minor-league start on his comeback trail, Nova at 3-0 with a 3.79 ERA is giving evidence that he does not intend to be the starting pitcher whom Pettitte will replace.

6-3 Coast trip revs Yanks up for Red Sox

Bartolo Colon’s return Sunday to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, which was his home base of operation for four seasons (2004-07), was a mixed bag for the Yankees, who ended a successful West Coast trip with a 5-3 victory. They won six of the nine games, a satisfying finish after they had lost the first two games at Seattle.

The first-place Yankees maintained their one-game lead in the American League East over the Red Sox, who come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series beginning Tuesday night. The Yanks keep avoiding pitchers with back problems. Dan Haren was scratched by the Angels from a scheduled start Saturday night due to back stiffness. The Red Sox will push Clay Buchholz back from Wednesday night to Friday night for the same reason and insert Tim Wakefield. The Yankees will also push back a pitcher, Ivan Nova, who is not hurt, to Friday night so that CC Sabathia can stay on turn and start Wednesday night against Boston.

Colon was lights out for two innings as he retired the Angels in order each time with a total of three strikeouts. He looked as if he would continue the run of scoreless innings he put up in a complete-game shutout on Memorial Day at Oakland.

But typical of teams under the guidance of one of baseball’s sharpest managers, Mike Scioscia, the Angels adjusted to Colon’s aggressiveness by jumping on first-pitch fastballs and other early-count offerings, few of them off-speed, to dent the righthander for two runs in the third that tied the score. A sensational play by second baseman Robinson Cano helped Colon get out of that inning without further damage, and he came right back with a 1-2-3 fourth.

It was almost as if Colon was pitching to the scoreboard. The second of Mark Teixeira’s two home runs regained a two-run lead for the Yankees in the fifth, but Colon gave back another run in the bottom half after two were out. He was in trouble again in the sixth but was saved in part by that rare scene by an Angels player – a dumb move on the bases.

Colon was out of the game by then. David Robertson came on with one out and a runner, Alberto Callaspo, at second base. Mark Trumbo, who had homered in the third off Colon, hit a ground ball to shortstop. Callaspo inexplicably tried to cross to third base, which made no sense because the ball was hit sharply, and was thrown out by Derek Jeter.

Robertson made things interesting after that rally killer by walking two batters to load the bases, but he rebounded big-time by striking out Maicer Izturis on a 2-2 hook. Robertson has held foes scoreless in eight consecutive appearances and has allowed one earned run in 15 outings dating to May 1 in which he has an ERA of 0.64 with 26 strikeouts in 14 innings.

His work was part of an ensemble effort by the Yankees’ bullpen. Joba Chamberlain withstood two singles to keep the Angels off the board for 1 1/3 innings, and Mariano Rivera notched his 16th save by also making two singles in the ninth meaningless. Mo is only the third reliever in history to have 16 or more saves in a season at age 41 or older. The others were Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who had 30 saves in 1996 and 36 in 1997 for the Cardinals, and all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who had 37 in 2009 for the Brewers.

It was a big game for Teixeira, who passed Curtis Granderson for the team lead in home runs, 18-17, and tied him for the club RBI lead with 41. Usually a notoriously slow starter, Tex hit six home runs in March/April and slugged 10 in May, the most in the majors. Five days into June, he already has two.

Nick Swisher hit his third home run of the trip, a solo shot off the right field foul pole, in the eighth that proved a vital insurance run taking some of the heat off Mo in the ninth. Another good sign was a two-hit game for Jorge Posada.

Jeter’s third-inning single pushed him past Hall of Famer Sam Rice into sole possession of 28th place on the career hit list with 2,986. With the Yankees’ next 10 games scheduled at home, can the Captain get to 3,000 at the Stadium?

Martin brings message home

Russell Martin’s day with the Yankees Friday started a little earlier than normal. At noon, the catcher made a very positive impression on about 60 students who are part of the “Saturday Program” at Public School 55 in the Bronx during an appearance at the school’s library.

Speaking to a group that does extra scholastic work each Saturday, Martin talked about the importance of perseverance in a person’s drive to achieve his or her dream.

“I was told by so many people that I wasn’t big enough or strong enough or fast enough to be a major-league player that I wanted to prove them wrong,” the 5-foot-10, 210-pound catcher said. “But that shouldn’t be the only motivation. The key really is to do it for yourself.”

Martin, a native Canadian who grew up in Montreal, relayed a story about when he was a young player and got tired of practicing and left the field early.

“My dad said, ‘You want to leave early?’ ’’ Martin said. “He told me, ‘You don’t know if there is someone out there working harder?’ That really stuck with me. My dad had a great influence on me.”

Albin Griffin, a fourth-grade student, made a presentation of a plaque to Martin. Another fourth-grader, Ashley Polanco, received a replica Yankees World Series ring for singing the song, “A Gentle Man,” about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The kids were all huge Yankees fans, and there is a good chance many watched Friday night’s game against the Red Sox on TV and saw Martin tie the score in the fifth inning with a two-run home run off Clay Buchholz. No, Martin did not promise the PS 55 students that he would hit a home run, but the thought might have crossed his mind as he circled the bases. After all, 55 is also his uniform number.

The home run was Martin’s seventh, two more than he hit all of last season with the Dodgers, and atoned for a passed ball he committed the previous inning that led to Boston’s second run.

After Adrian Gonzalez homered leading off against Barolo Colon, Kevin Youkilis struck out, but the third strike hit off Martin’s glove, allowing Youkilis to reach first base. Two walks by Colon loaded the bases for the Red Sox with one out. Youkilis scored on a grounder to the right side by Carl Crawford.

But in keeping with the theme of perseverance in his talk with the school children, Martin wiped out that misplay with one swing.