In Thursday's 9-8, 10-inning win over the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox not only did some real damage to the Yankees chances of winning the AL East or a wild card, but may have inflicted long-lasting harm to the collective New York pysche.
In the 10th, Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out off reliever Joba Chamberlain, stole second and scored the game-winner on Shane Victorino's single. The Red Sox closer, Koji Uehara, put the Yankees down in order in the bottom of the inning for his 18th save.
Ellsbury went 3-for-6 overall, with the game-winning run and an RBI ground-rule double in the third inning, raising his batting average to .299. The Red Sox speedster's 10th inning swipe was his 52nd of the season, which easily leads the majors, his closest pursuer being Toronto's Rajai Davis, with 40 steals.
The win put Boston 6 1/2 ahead of Tampa Bay in the East division, while dropping the Yankees to nine back, keeping them 2 1/2 behind the Rays for the second wild card. Tampa Bay was a 6-2 loser to the Angels.
Game two of the four-game series between the Yankees and Red Sox is set for 7:05 pm EDT in New York.
Todd Frazier socked a pair of solo homers and the Reds scored a single run in each inning from the second through the eighth, drawing to within 1 1/2 games of second place St. Louis and three back of the idle Pirates, who lead the division.
Cincinnati has a firm grasp on the second wild card, holding a seven-game lead over Arizona and Washington with 21 games left to play, though the Reds have their sights set at winning the division after taking three of four from the Cardinals. They host the Dodgers for three games over the weekend, but the schedule is favorable for them as they play the Pirates six times in the final nine games of the regular season - three in Pittsburgh on September 20-22, and closing out the season with three at home, September 27-29.
Today's Trivia: What was the last season nobody had 200 hits in the major leagues? (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: In 1998, Colorado's Dante Bichette led the majors with 219 hits.