Yankees 4, Red Sox 1

Dave Buscema,, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


NEW YORK -- Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford's season might soon be over, and his team might not be far behind. The rival New York Yankees seem to be just getting started, after an impressive week.
Crawford reportedly will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow Tuesday, while the Red Sox are still amid a season-threatening slide that included Sunday night's 4-1 loss to the Yankees.
Boston dropped two of three to their rivals to fall 7 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot and cap a chaotic week featuring reports of team discord.
The Yankees had no such issues, as they remained five games up on the Tampa Bay Rays thanks largely to two home runs and three hits from Ichiro Suzuki, who emerged for a curtain call from the Yankee Stadium crowd after the second one.
New York finished its seven-game home stand against the Texas Rangers and Red Sox 5-2, and has won nine of 12.
Derek Jeter added three hits and scored two runs, while Curtis Granderson responded to his first cleanup assignment as a Yankee by driving in a run with a double.
Hiroki Kuroda (12-8) continued to lead the Yankees' pitching staff, throwing eight innings of one-run ball while the Yankees touched up Josh Beckett (5-11) for four runs in six innings. Beckett dropped his third straight decision and fifth in his last six.
Rafael Soriano earned his 31st save of the season with a scoreless ninth. He started the ninth by giving up a leadoff single to Crawford -- in what could be his last at-bat of the season. But Soriano got Dustin Pedroia to hit into a double play and struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the game.
Kuroda has not allowed more than three earned runs in his past six starts, going 4-1 in that span.
Coming off a complete-game two-hit shutout, Kuroda limited the Red Sox to four hits while striking out four and not walking a batter. Boston scored its only run on Gonzalez's seventh-inning home run, his second homer in two games.
By that point, the solo shot only trimmed the Yankees' lead to 4-1. Ichiro, who has hit safely in 21 of his 23 starts as a Yankee, gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead in the sixth with his second homer to right in as many at-bats. He drew a long, sustained ovation along with chants of "Ich-i-ro! Ich-i-ro!" before emerging and waving his helmet.
The Yankees took a 3-0 lead off Beckett in the first four innings, scoring single runs in the first, third and fifth.
Granderson drove in the first run with a two-out double in the first, scoring Jeter, who led off with a double. Jeter helped create the Yankees' second run, hitting a one-out double before leading a double steal and eventually scoring on a wild pitch.
Ichiro's sixth home run of the season gave New York a 3-0 lead.
Before the game, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington said they would talk Monday with Crawford about whether he should have Tommy John surgery and when to have it, but ESPN later reported Crawford would have the surgery Tuesday. Cherington responded by again referencing the fact there would be a meeting Monday.
Cherington said before the game the focus of the decision would be on what's best for Crawford, who has been disappointing since signing a seven-year, $142 million contract before last season. The Boston Globe reported earlier in the weekend Crawford wanted to ask the team's permission to have the surgery, but ESPN.com reported he was concerned about fallout from shutting himself down before the season ended.
NOTES: Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira missed his third straight start, but said his injured left wrist was improving and he hoped to return to the lineup Monday. ... Cherington said he saw the report linking former catcher Kelly Shoppach to the infamous text message reportedly sent from Adrian Gonzalez's phone to management griping about manager Bobby Valentine, but "I can't add anything more to the story. The meeting (between players and ownership) happened, time has passed, we're trying to move on." ... Red Sox right-hander John Lackey, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw 45 pitches in a pre-game bullpen session, and Valentine said he was "very impressed with what I saw." Valentine said he "thinks" Lackey would like to pitch in a "game or two" before the end of the season, but wasn't sure.