Now the Yankees’ top pitching prize will have to try to stop the skid.
Mike Lowell(notes) homered off struggling Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang(notes), and Kevin Youkilis(notes) also connected to help give Boston a 6-5 victory on Wednesday night and a 7-0 record against New York this year. Wang was the second straight Yankees starter to leave after getting just eight outs, a trend CC Sabathia(notes) will try to reverse when he pitches against Brad Penny(notes) in the series finale on Thursday.
Teixeira spurned the Red Sox in the offseason to sign a $180 million, eight-year contract with their rivals—the biggest for a position player on the free-agent market. Sabathia got the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history over the winter—a $161 million, seven-year contract.
The big left-hander will try to stop the skid and save a bullpen that couldn’t rescue either A.J. Burnett(notes) or Wang (0-4) when they couldn’t get out of the third inning. Yankees manager Joe Girardi would not commit to giving Wang, whose ERA dropped from 14.46 to 14.34, another turn in the rotation.
“I’m not ready to make that decision right now,” Girardi said. “We’re seven minutes after the game, so it’s something we’ll discuss. I’ll sleep on it. In five days, somebody will be out there.”
Wakefield (8-3) allowed eight hits in six innings and improved to 5-0 at Fenway Park in five starts this year. The knuckleballer handed a 6-3 lead to a bullpen that had given up just one earned run in the last 17 1-3 innings. But Ramon Ramirez gave up back-to-back homers to Johnny Damon(notes) and Teixeira in the seventh.
“It’s a tough bullpen, one of the toughest I’ve ever seen,” Teixeira said.
Boston, which also beat the Yankees in their last matchup of the 2008 season, has its longest winning streak against New York since 1912, when Fenway Park opened and the Yankees were still the Highlanders.
“We’re moving guys over, we’re getting big two-out hits, and when you do those little things like that and you’re playing good baseball you’re going to win ballgames—regardless of it’s the Yankees or anybody else,” Papelbon said. “We just happen to be playing good baseball against them right now and we’ve got to keep this momentum.”
Wang was restored to the rotation after two scoreless relief appearances, but his troubles soon returned. He gave up five runs over 4 2-3 innings in a no-decision against Texas last Thursday, and gave up four runs and six hits versus Boston.
NOTES: Teixeira hit right-handed against Wakefield. Nick Swisher(notes) hit left-handed and bunted, then right-handed and walked. … Among Boston’s picks in the draft were RHP Luke Bard, the brother of Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard(notes). The Yankees grabbed 1B Luke Murton, the brother of Rockies OF Matt Murton(notes). … Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) was off for the second straight night while nursing a sore shoulder. … Yankees OF Xavier Nady(notes) (15-day DL, right elbow) will be with the team on Friday and work out over the weekend. … Swisher misplayed a fly ball for a ground-rule double in the second inning, then went over the wall into the stands after a foul ball. … Wang has left his five starts trailing by a combined score of 27-3. … New York’s Hideki Matsui(notes) ended an 0-for-16 slump with a second-inning double. … A.J. Burnett lasted just 2 2-3 in the Yankees’ series-opening loss on Tuesday.