The New York Yankees are officially no longer winless against the Boston Red Sox in 2009. The Bronx Bombers flexed their thunderous might, slaughtering the completely over-matched Red Sox 13-6, due in no small part to an explosive eight-run outburst in the 4th inning that chased starter John Smoltz from the game.
Entering the bottom of the fourth down 3-1, Melky Cabrera crushed a three-run shot to thrust the Yankees into a lead they would not relent, a fact secured when Jorge Posada drove the proverbial stake into the Red Sox figurative heart, mashing a three-run dinger of his own to deep center field.
Jorge's home run added to his huge day and to that of his team's. The stalwart Yankee catcher finished only a triple short of reproducing Melky's recent feat of hitting for the cycle, but the home run in the fourth was the crucial point where it was clear that Boston would not be coming back on this night. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira also contributed long balls and every other Yankee starter had a hit in the Bronx-style bludgeoning.
Starter Joba Chamberlain struggled with his control — especially after the long layoff in the fourth inning — lasting only five frames while walking a ridiculous seven batters. But the Yankee onslaught was simply too overwhelming, disallowing Boston to take advantage. Johnny Damon posted a 3-for-5 day to go along with his home run, Teixeira was 3-for-4 and Posada went 3-for-5, relentlessly pounding sacrificial lamb and former Yankee pitcher Billy Traber when Smoltz could bear no more punishment. When the dust settled and the final out was recorded, the Yankees' collected 13 runs on 18 hits and left the distinct impression that the John Smoltz gamble might end up snake eyes for the boy genius Theo Epstein.
While New York's winless start against their rivals was big news in early June, this is hardly the same Yankees' team. With a healthy A-Rod, the new acquisitions of Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett settled in, and a bullpen that has come together in stellar fashion, the Yankees are playing the best baseball in the American League, and are poised to distance themselves from their rivals if they can continue their elite level of play in the remaining three games of the four-game set against Boston.