BOSTON -- Dare to dream?
Well, if Alfonso Soriano continues to hit like a dead legendary Hall of Famer, and Andy Pettitte continues to pitch like a version of his younger self, why not? The Yankees won their fifth game out of their past six since Joe Girardi's infamous "We need 35 more wins" statement on Saturday with tonight's 10-3 victory over the Red Sox.
Even though Boston still holds a 7½-game lead in the AL East and the Yankees still have four teams to leapfrog just to sneak into the second wild-card spot, so far the Yankees have kept up their end of the bargain. They have to win as many games as possible, and for the past week, that is just what they have done. Even more incredibly, this once offensively challenged team has scored 39 runs in its past four games. The 10-spot the Yankees put up tonight were the most runs scored off the Red Sox all year.
Who's Sori now? If Soriano is unconscious, don't nobody wake him up. Sori drove in the Yankees' first run of the game with a first-inning single, and three more with a three-run HR in the third. He now has five HRs and 18 RBIs over his past four games, tying the major league record for a four-game span accomplished by five others, including ex-Yankees Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri.
He's Ba-a-a-ck: That would be Pettitte, who worked into the seventh inning for only the second time in his past 11 starts, and allowed no earned runs for the first time all year. The three Boston runs were unearned due to a pair of errors by Eduardo Nunez. Pettitte (8-9) picked up his first win since July 11.
Reynolds Rap: The newest Yankee, Mark Reynolds, made a fine first impression, crushing an 0-2 changeup over the Green Monster with Vernon Wells aboard in the second inning to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Reynolds became the 14th Yankee in history to homer in his first at-bat for the team; the most recent was Andruw Jones on April 5, 2011. Reynolds added an RBI single in the ninth.
Felix Dou-Little: Red Sox starter Felix Doubront, who came in with a 3-1 lifetime record against the Yankees and 2.17 ERA, got belted tonight for six runs in the first three innings, including the HRs by Reynolds and Soriano. Doubront put the leadoff hitter on in each of the first three innings, and all three scored. Doubront lasted just four innings and allowed seven runs, six earned.
Boo-Rod: No surprise, but everyone hates Alex here in Boston, or at least, it sounded that way tonight, as it has just about every time he has played here as a Yankee. Perhaps showing their love for Francisco Cervelli, the Fenway faithful showered Rodriguez with boos from the pregame introductions through his four plate appearances, as well as every time he handled the baseball, along with some obscene chanting. A-Rod made his haters happy in the first inning by hitting into an inning-ending double play, but also singled twice, walked and lined out hard to fairly deep center field. And if everyone in Fenway didn't already hate him, A-Rod made enemies of the undecided by snagging David Ortiz's eighth-inning liner, starting an inning-ending DP that snuffed out Boston's final chance for a rally. Interestingly, he seems to thrive on the hate.
Too much Carping: Pinch-hitter Mike Carp got tossed in the seventh after looking at a third strike from Shawn Kelley, just after he was called back from first after an apparent hit-by-pitch was reversed by the umpires following a conference that determined the ball had hit the dirt and not Carp's right foot. Carp got into plate umpire Bill Welke's face after the called strike and was immediately run.
What's next: Game 2 of this three-game series, Hiroki Kuroda (11-7, 2.33) versus one of the players who thinks A-Rod shouldn't be allowed to play, RHP John Lackey (7-10, 3.32). First pitch 4:05 p.m., and get there early; could be fireworks.