BOSTON - What appeared would be a comfortable Red Sox win, just their fifth of the season, instead turned into one of the most utterly demoralizing losses to the Yankees in recent memory.
The Red Sox bullpen wasted a fine effort from starter Felix Doubront, taking an eight-run lead and turning it into an unfortunate 15-9 loss.
Leading 9-1 going into the seventh inning, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine removed Doubront, with Vicente Padilla entering. Padilla struck out first batter, Andruw Jones, looking at a 94-mph fastball. But after that, the Yankees battered the Sox right-hander, who could not get another out. He gave up consecutive singles to Russell Martin and Eduardo Nunez before walking Derek Jeter, setting the stage for a grand slam by Nick Swisher.
After a double to Robinson Cano, Padilla was replaced by Matt Albers who was even more ineffective. Albers faced two batters without recording an out, giving up a three-run homer to Mark Teixeira, allowing the Yankees to cut the Sox' once-healthy lead to just one run.
It was the 13th time the switch-hitting Teixeira has homered from each side of the plate, extending his major league lead.
Early in the game it appeared the Sox would easily get their fifth win of the season. They had quickly knocked out struggling Yankees starter Freddy Garcia from the game. Garcia lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits.
Clay Rapada replaced Garcia, allowing a run in one-third of an inning. David Phelps replaced Rapada, going four innings, gave up three runs on six hits, a walk, and a hit batter with two strikeouts.
Doubront was in line for his first win of the season, but that was erased by the failures of the Red Sox bullpen. Doubront went six innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. The lone run come on a Teixeira's sixth-inning solo homer from the right side.
The six Red Sox relievers combined to give up 14 runs. The Yankees sent a total of 23 batters to the plate in the seventh and eighth innings, with 14 scoring.
The Sox lead 9-0 after five innings. The last time the Red Sox blew a nine-run lead to the Yankees was June 26, 1987, in Yankee Stadium.
NOTES: Red Sox Outfielder Jason Repko, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket April 15, has a slightly separated shoulder after crashing into the outfield wall in Friday's loss to the Yankees. Manager Bobby Valentine said Repko would be examined again to determine the extent of the injury and if a disabled list stint would be required. ... Red Sox Left fielder Carl Crawford, on the DL after left wrist surgery in January and elbow soreness, served as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and three walks. He will be re-examined in Boston in the next few days. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said left-hander Andy Pettitte's return to the team is "getting close to a reality now," with three more minor league starts possible. Pettitte started an extended spring training game on Friday against the Pirates organization. He threw five innings, giving up two earned runs on four this with no walks, and five strikeouts. ... Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda was shut down after he felt pain in his shoulder during his first rehab assignment outing. He threw 15 pitches in his outing Saturday...