New York Yankees reliever David Robertson's latest late-game tightrope walk ended in disaster, as the right-hander gave up a go-ahead, 10th-inning RBI single to Boston Red Sox shortstop Pedro Ciriaco in a 3-2 loss at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia worked a five-pitch walk to lead the frame off, and when Will Middlebrooks attempted to bunt Boston's catcher over, he was apparently struck on his right hand. Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora--hit on his left leg by the same pitch after it ricocheted off Middlebrooks' hand (or bat)--thought Robertson's 0-1 delivery made contact with wood, thus adding insult to injury by charging Middlebrooks with a strike on what he interpreted as a foul tip.
"From my view, I thought he bunted at it," Robertson said after New York's loss.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine and starter Josh Beckett were ejected for vehemently voicing their objection to O'Nora's ruling, but Middlebrooks avenged his skipper and teammate when he singled through the left side to put Robertson in a first-and-second, no-out cliffhanger. Saltalamacchia moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored the eventual winning run on Ciriaco's bloop single to shallow right.
"It's part of the game, you're gonna catch bad breaks at times," Robertson said of Ciriaco's perfectly placed ball. "I made a good pitch, he hit it where no one could catch it. That's all I can say.
"It's a tough break, and all I can do is be ready for tomorrow," the 2011 All-Star added.
The Red Sox's rubber match win gave them their first series victory over New York in 2012. The Yankees, who still hold a 6-3 edge in the season series, and Red Sox won't meet again until Friday, Aug. 17, to open another three-game set in the Bronx.