Pedroia, Red Sox lose to Yankees 10-3
By HOWIE RUMBERG
NEW YORK (AP) Dustin Pedroia wasn't about to make excuses for a poorly executed double-play chance. In fact, he refused to make any excuses for the Red Sox sub-par record.
He just wants Boston to play better.
New York scored three times in the first inning, after the Red Sox failed to turn what looked to be an easy double play, and went on to rough up Boston 10-3 on Friday night in Ichiro Suzuki's first game in Yankees pinstripes.
"We're two games under .500. We're the Boston Red Sox, so if anyone's thrilled with where we're at they better reevaluate because I don't like losing. I know everyone else doesn't like losing," Pedroia said. "We've got to play better now."
The rivals were meeting in the Bronx for the first time this year, the latest in a non-strike season the teams have faced off at Yankee Stadium. New York was returning from a 2-5 trip in which the Yankees lost Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand. The Red Sox had won just once in six games coming in. The loss dropped them to 49-51, 11 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees.
Pedroia gave Boston the lead with a drive to left off Phil Hughes (10-8) on a full-count pitch in the first. But Ibanez followed with a two-run shot in the bottom half when the Yankees scored three times after the Red Sox failed to turn the potential double play.
With runners on first and third, and shortstop Mike Aviles behind second base in a shift, Mark Teixeira hit a routine grounder to second baseman Pedroia. He made a quick toss to Aviles, who was slow to make the turn, and Teixeira beat the throw. A run scored, and Ibanez then hit a line drive into the first few rows of the short right field porch.
"He's playing the shift, and he comes over to the base from the other side," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "It was an awkward throw."
Pedroia wasn't so forgiving: "It was one of those deals where Mikey's in a bad spot. He just hit it hard right to me, so I tried to turn and throw it to him, and I don't think he found the bag. We've got to turn that ball."
Hughes gave up three solo homers but little else in seven innings to help the Yankees beat Boston for the sixth time in seven games this year - New York's best start to a season against the Red Sox since opening 6-0 in 1994.
With the Red Sox foundering in last place in the division, and David Ortiz and Rodriguez on the disabled list, it felt as if the rivalry had lost some of its luster.
"When injuries happen, the guys have stepped up and played their butts off," said Pedroia, who was on the DL in early July. "They put us in a position to make a run, and we've got to play better, man."
Suzuki's presence helped give the game some buzz.
The 10-time All-Star was dealt to New York during its visit to Seattle on Monday. He started in right field and batted eighth on Friday. Suzuki was met with a sustained ovation followed by chants of "Iiiichiro," when he came up for the first time in the second inning. He hit a fly to center field.
In his second at-bat, he singled and scored on Martin's two-run homer to left field. Suzuki finished 1-for-4 and scored twice, including his first run with the Yankees.
"It has been a while since this type of experience," Suzuki said of the atmosphere and winning attitude in New York.
Almost as if they were toying with Boston in Valentine's first trip to New York as a manager since he was fired by the Mets in 2002, the Yankees scored in the bottom half of each of the three innings the Red Sox homered.
In the third, Carl Crawford connected for the first time this season - in his 10th game - after missing the first 90 because of wrist surgery and several setbacks. Teixeira had a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
The catchers traded long balls in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his 20th of the year. Martin responded with his 11th for a 6-3 lead.
Hughes retired 10 of his final 11 batters, allowing only a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth. Overall he allowed five hits and one walk. Hughes struck out five. The three homers gave him 25, tying him for the major league lead with Seattle's Jason Vargas.
"He did a nice job after we got the lead to 6-3," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He settled down nicely."
Cook gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings for Boston.
"It's very frustrating," Cook said. "But, the one thing we've got to be able to do is forget about this, wash it off, come back tomorrow. We can't just think about our loss and feel bad about our loss. We've got to come out here tomorrow and beat the team that's trying to beat us."
Granderson connected for the Yankees seventh grand slam this year off former New York reliever Mark Melancon.
NOTES: In the 1981, strike-interrupted season, the Red Sox first played in New York on Sept. 11. ... Ortiz had his walking boot removed and he tested his strained right Achilles by taking batting practice before the game. ... Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain (dislocated ankle) is scheduled to make a rehab appearance for Double-A Trenton on Sunday.
Updated July 27, 2012