And now, back to your regularly scheduled underperforming baseball team.
With the Jorge Posada mess seemingly put in the rearview mirror, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was eager to put the center of attention elsewhere. "We're hoping to get the focus back on our club and trying to get a win and get back on track," he said yesterday afternoon. "We're better than this and we'll find it, and when we do, we'll be back on track. Winning will cure a lot."
But no cure was found last night. The Yankees' offense showed signs of life but their recent trend of ragged play continued as they fell to Boston, 7-5, in front of 46,945 at the Stadium.
"It seems like when things are going bad, they're going bad," Joe Girardi said. "And it's going to turn around. Every team in our division, Tampa, they went through it, the Red Sox have been through it and now we've been through it. We need to turn it around."
The Red Sox (20-20), who hit three home runs in coming back from a 4-1 deficit, swept the three-game series and reached .500 for the first time all season after beginning 0-6 and 2-10. They have won five of six from the Yankees this season.
The Yankees (20-18), losers of five straight and nine of their last 12, will start a two-game series against the first-place Rays tonight in St. Petersburg.
"Not good," Alex Rodriguez said of the 1-5 homestand. "We can talk about it over and over again; the bottom line is we have to play better and we have to play winning baseball."
After A-Rod's error on what he called a "routine play" in the top of the seventh allowed the Red Sox to take 6-4 lead, Alfredo Aceves relieved Jon Lester (5-1) to begin the bottom of the inning, and when Rodriguez's two-out double to left was misplayed by Carl Crawford, Curtis Granderson scored from first to make it 6-5. But Daniel Bard struck out Nick Swisher to end the inning.
The night began with a positive enough vibe as Posada apologized before the game for his actions Saturday. Though he wasn't in the lineup, the Bleacher Creatures made the 39-year-old part of their roll call -- after getting through the starters -- and he responded by waving his left hand in the dugout.
Garcia struck out Kevin Youkilis to begin the second, but the ball got away from Russell Martin for a passed ball and Youkilis reached base. With the bases loaded and none out, he scored on Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly to tie it at 1. It was the second time in three games that a passed ball by Martin on a Youkilis strikeout allowed him to eventually score an unearned run.
Jones began the bottom of the inning by pounding Lester's 2-and-1 pitch into the seats in left for his second homer of the season. Martin walked and, one out later, Granderson hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot that made it 4-1. He is second in the major leagues in home runs, behind Jose Bautista's 16. The blast gave Granderson six homers in 35 at-bats against lefthanders.
But Jacoby Ellsbury started the third with a double and, after Dustin Pedroia popped out, Adrian Gonzalez walked and Youkilis battled back from an 0-and-2 count to tie the score at 4-4 with a three-run shot to left.
"That inning was really disappointing," Garcia said. "A 4-1 lead and I couldn't hold it."
Ortiz gave Boston a 5-4 lead with two outs in the fifth, hitting what sounded like a broken-bat homer to right.
With one out in the seventh and runners at first and second, David Robertson got Youkilis to hit a grounder to Rodriguez, who appeared ready to start a 5-5-3 double play. But A-Rod did not get the glove down and had the ball squirt between his legs for a 6-4 Boston lead.
"We've hurt ourselves over and over with the glove,'' Rodriguez said, "and tonight was another example."