MLB Notebook: Red Sox-Yanks add to rivalry
Boston's comeback win similar to other classics during 2,131 total meetings
On April 22, 1926, the Yankees and Red Sox butted heads during a tilt in the Bronx. It turned out to be a wild affair in which Boston overcame a mid-game deficit and the presence of four future Hall of Famers in the Yanks' lineup for a 10-inning, 9-8 win.
Down, 4-1, as they came to bat in the sixth, the Red Sox used a six-run inning to pull ahead, only to eventually see New York force extra innings. Undeterred, Boston came back with a run in the top of the 10th, and then right-hander Ted Wingfield -- pitching his fifth inning of relief -- closed things out for the win.
It was one of nine games between the two franchises to end with a 9-8 score in favor of the club from Boston, with the latest occurring Thursday night. There are some narrative similarities, no doubt, between Thursday's game and that one played back when Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth occupied the No. 3 and cleanup slots in the Yankees' batting order -- similarities that will pop up from time to time in a rivalry now made up of 2,131 contests.
After their comeback Thursday, the Red Sox now lead in the American League East by 6 1/2 games over the Rays, who lost to the Angels. Boston scored the tying run with a two-out rally against Mariano Rivera in the ninth, handing Rivera his sixth blown save of the season. The six in 2013 give Rivera 79 in his career, with 15 of them coming against the Red Sox.
Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino hit a solo homer in the fifth, drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th and also stole his 20th base of the year. With teammate Jacoby Ellsbury leading the AL with 52 stolen bases, the Red Sox have two 20-steal outfielders for the 12th time in the franchise's history. Ten of the 12 seasons came in the dead-ball era, while the other one since 1920 took place in 2008, when Ellsbury swiped 50 and Coco Crisp added 20 steals.
Ellsbury had a double and a steal Thursday in a three-hit night. Ellsbury has 12 games this season in which he has had at least one extra-base hit and one stolen base, with those dozen leading the Majors. All 12 of those games came with Ellsbury as the leadoff hitter. Since 1916, the four top season totals for Red Sox leadoff hitters are owned by Ellsbury (16 in 2011), Tommy Harper (14 in 1973), Ellsbury (13 in 2009) and Ellsbury (12 in '13).
Red Sox right-hander Koji Uehara pitched a perfect 10th inning with two strikeouts for his 18th save of the season. Since taking over full-time closing duties near the end of June, Uehara has gone 17-for-19 in save opportunities, with a 0.27 ERA, 45 strikeouts, two walks and 10 hits allowed in 33 1/3 innings.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano picked up his 30th double of the season, giving him at least 30 in each of his first nine years in the Majors. Cano became the fourth player to have at least 30 doubles in each of his first nine seasons, joining Paul Waner, Earl Averill and Albert Pujols.
Cano's 364 doubles through his first nine seasons rank as the fifth most in history. Pujols is the leader, with 387.
Boston stole three bases Thursday, while New York swiped six. It was the second time this season that the Red Sox and Yanks had a game in which each stole at least three bases (the other was on July 21). None of the matchups between these two teams from 1916-2012 produced such a game.
New York had six players with a steal Thursday -- the club's most since also having six players swipe a bag on May 31, 1916, in a win against the Athletics.
Ibanez's homer not enough
Facing Kansas City's Greg Holland, who had converted 31 consecutive save opportunities, Seattle pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez hit a two-strike, two-out, game-tying home run in the top of the ninth inning. However, the Royals would get past the homer and claim a 7-6 victory over the Mariners in 13 innings.
The home run was Ibanez's 26th of the year. Ibanez -- playing in his age-41 season -- is now tied with Barry Bonds (26 homers in 2006) for the third most for a player in his age-41 or older season. He now trails Bonds (28 homers in his age-42 season in '07) and Ted Williams (29 homers in his age-41 season in 1960).
Since the start of the 2012 season, Ibanez has hit six game-tying home runs in the seventh inning or later. Those six tie him with Pedro Alvarez for the most in the Majors.
Jones joins elite company
In the Orioles' 3-1 win against the White Sox, Adam Jones hit his 30th home run of the year. Jones, who had 39 doubles and 32 homers in 2012 and 31 two-baggers this year, is the 14th center fielder to have back-to-back seasons with at least 30 doubles and 30 homers.
Hack Wilson (1927-30) and Duke Snider ('53-56) accomplished the feat in four straight seasons. Joe DiMaggio ('37-39) and Willie Mays ('61-63) had three-season runs, and Averill ('31-32), Wally Berger ('34-35), Dale Murphy ('84-85), Ron Gant ('90-91), Ray Lankford ('97-98), Ken Griffey Jr. ('97-98), Jose Cruz Jr. (2000-01), Jim Edmonds ('03-04), Carlos Beltran ('06-07) and Jones have done it in back-to-back seasons.
Choo shows power and patience
In the Reds' 6-2 win over the Cardinals, leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo hit his 20th home run in a two-hit, two-walk, two-run night.
Choo is the second player in Reds history to hit 20 homers from the leadoff spot, following Kal Daniels' 22 in 1987.
Choo's two walks gave him 94 for the season, and 91 as a leadoff hitter. Five players have put together at least 20 homers and 100 walks from the leadoff spot. The Athletics' Eddie Joost did it in 1949 and '52, the Tigers' Eddie Yost matched his fellow Eddie in '59, Rickey Henderson did it in '93 while splitting time with the A's and Blue Jays, and in '95, the Angels' Tony Phillips became the most recent player to do it.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.