It was like old times at Fenway Park on Tuesday night as tempers rose and benches emptied during the New York Yankees 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Batters from both sides were plunked and Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected.
The good news for the Yankees was that CC Sabathia finally won a game against their division rivals. The victory pulled the Yankees to within a half-game behind the AL East leaders.
It was Sabathia's first win this season against the Sox after losing his first four. The victory was no thing of beauty, but it had to look like Miss America to the Yankees ace.
Sabathia (18-7) scattered ten hits and struck out the same amount through 6 1/3 innings. He threw 128 pitches-- the most ever in one game as a Yankee-- and was lucky the Sox stranded 16 runners.
The Yank's bullpen wasn't perfect either, but were good enough to preserve the big guy's long-awaited win.
Boone Logan bailed out Sabathia by relieving him with two men on and one out in the seventh. Logan struck out two after loading the bases.
Rafael Soriano threw a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera wrapped up the game in the ninth.
The real excitement was centered around Red Sox starter John Lackey (12-10) and his penchant for hitting opposing batters. He now leads the league with 17.
While Sabathia did hit Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the first, it was Lackey who was retaliating throughout the game.
In the first, Lackey bopped Curtis Granderson, who started towards first base, but was called back by the home plate umpire Ed Rapuano.
It was in the seventh, when Francisco Cervelli added a little spice to the game after Lackey's brush-back hit the Yankees player.
Cervelli, who sent a home-run ball sailing out of Fenway in his previous at bat, probably ticked off Lackey, who couldn't have liked the way the Yankees backup catcher clapped his hands as he emphatically hopped on home plate after circling the bases.
After Cervelli got popped, he started to rush the mound before being held back by Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltamacchia. Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild rushed in and was tossed out of the game by third base umpire Mark Wegner.
In the ninth, Girardi took offense when a Saltamacchia's check-swing stopped a Rivera cutter on his arm. This time the batter was awarded first. Girardi stormed out and was hopping mad. He was quickly sent to the showers by Wegman after arguing that the Red Sox batter had swung into Rivera's pitch.
It's good to see a little fire in the old rivalry. They'll do it again tomorrow night.