Save No. 200 will do just fine.
Papelbon labored through the ninth inning to notch his milestone save in the fewest number of appearances in big league history, finishing off Boston’s 6-4 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night—its sixth win in seven meetings this season between the AL East rivals.
“For me, confidence is everything and going into outings when you’re not sharp, the No. 1 thing I’m trying to do is go back and be sharp, get confidence back under my belt,” Papelbon said. “So it’s a big deal.”
Working on seven days’ rest, Jon Lester(notes) (8-2) gave up three runs and eight hits—seven singles—in six innings. He felt he had his best mechanics in a while, but he was concerned for Teixeira after hitting him on the right knee with a pitch in the first inning.
“It’s tough to hit a guy like that and see him kind of go off the field not feeling too good,” Lester said. “Too be able to get back up on the mound and throw strikes was key.”
X-rays on Teixeira’s knee were negative. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the All-Star first baseman had a bone bruise.
“He’ll be day to day. Will he play tomorrow? I doubt it,” Girardi said. “It’ll take a couple of days, probably.”
Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) led off the game with a home run and Adrian Gonzalez(notes) hit an RBI triple as the Red Sox roughed up Freddy Garcia(notes) (4-5) early to move within two percentage points of the first-place Yankees in the AL East.
The Red Sox have been on a tear since arriving in the Bronx on May 13, starting a run in which they have won 17 of 23 with a three-game sweep of the Yankees.
Girardi was concerned that Ortiz would offend the 24-year-old rookie reliever.
“Yeah, I didn’t really care for it,” Girardi said. “I’ve never had a problem with David Ortiz. He’s been a clutch player for a long time. My reaction’s probably more protecting our young kid. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
Ortiz dismissed any ill-intent on the flip.
“That’s Papi style,” Ortiz said.
Papelbon was pitching while he appeals a three-game ban for making contact with an umpire Saturday—a game in which he blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning before the Red Sox won in the 14th. He gave up an RBI single to Jorge Posada(notes) but struck out Alex Rodriguez(notes) with a runner on second for his 12th save.
“I’ve always called him the godfather,” Papelbon said of Rivera. “He’s the godfather of this role. He’s made this role what it is today.”
Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks(notes) left in the seventh after throwing just four pitches because of tightness in his back. Jenks said it was a flare-up of an injury he had early in his career and that he was fine after coming out of the game.
Jenks will have an MRI on Wednesday and probably be out a game or two.
Ellsbury hit the fourth leadoff homer of his career, and the Red Sox chased Garcia soon after.
Garcia had gone at least five innings in each of his nine starts this season, but was knocked out after just 1 2-3 innings.
Pedroia had an RBI double in the second to make it 4-1. Garcia intentionally walked Gonzalez to load the bases, ending his night.
The Yankees scored in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of Lester’s early wildness, but received a scare when Teixeira was hit. Teixeira immediately crumbled to the dirt and rolled back and forth, holding his knee.
“It was very painful, but once we got the ice and the compression on it, it didn’t hurt as much,” Teixeira said.
Posada, on the bench with the left-handed Lester on the mound, ran for Teixeira and stayed in at first base.
Posada, who pulled himself out of the lineup after he was dropped to ninth in the order the last time the Red Sox were in town, later got his first two hits of the season against a lefty. He snapped an 0-for-27 skid from the right side with a single in the third inning.
NOTES: To make room for Marco Scutaro(notes), who was activated from the DL, the Red Sox sent RHP Scott Atchison(notes) to Triple-A Pawtucket. … RHP Phil Hughes(notes) (shoulder inflammation) threw off a mound at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa, Fla., and is expected to throw a simulated game Thursday.