NEW YORK – Dustin Pedroia wasn’t about to make excuses for a poorly executed double-play chance. In fact, he refused to make any excuses for the Red Sox’s sub-par record.
He just wants Boston to play better.
New York scored three times in the first inning Friday night, after the Red Sox failed to turn what looked to be an easy double play and went on to rough up Boston 10-3 in Ichiro Suzuki’s first home game in Yankees pinstripes.
“We’re two games under .500. We’re the Boston Red Sox, so if anyone’s thrilled with where we’re at they better re-evaluate because I don’t like losing. I know everyone else doesn’t like losing,” Pedroia said. “We’ve got to play better now.”
Russell Martin and Raul Ibanez hit two-run homers off Aaron Cook (2-4), and Curtis Granderson capped the scoring with an eighth-inning grand slam.
The rivals were meeting in the Bronx for the first time this year, the latest that’s happened in a non-strike season. New York was returning from a 2-5 trip in which it lost Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand.
The Red Sox had won just once in six games coming in. The loss dropped them to 49-51, 11½ games behind the AL East-leading Yankees.
Pedroia gave Boston the lead with a drive to left off Phil Hughes (10-8) on a full-count pitch in the first. But Ibanez followed with a two-run shot in the bottom half when the Yankees scored three times after the Red Sox failed to turn the potential double play.
With runners on first and third, and shortstop Mike Aviles behind second base in a shift, Mark Teixeira hit a routine grounder to second baseman Pedroia. He made a quick toss to Aviles, who was slow to make the turn, and Teixeira beat the throw. A run scored, and Ibanez then hit a line drive into the first few rows of the short right-field porch.
“He’s playing the shift, and he comes over to the base from the other side,” Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said. “It was an awkward throw.”
Pedroia wasn’t so forgiving: “It was one of those deals where Mikey’s in a bad spot. He just hit it hard right to me, so I tried to turn and throw it to him, and I don’t think he found the bag. We’ve got to turn that ball.”
Hughes gave up three solo homers but little else in seven innings to help the Yankees beat Boston for the sixth time in seven games this year — New York’s best start to a season against the Red Sox since opening 6-0 in 1994.
With the Red Sox foundering in last place in the division, and David Ortiz and Rodriguez on the disabled list, it felt as if the rivalry had lost some of its luster.
“When injuries happen, the guys have stepped up and played their butts off,” said Pedroia, who was on the DL in early July. “They put us in a position to make a run, and we’ve got to play better, man.”
Aaron Cook gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings for Boston.
“It’s very frustrating,” Cook said. “But the one thing we’ve got to be able to do is forget about this, wash it off, come back tomorrow. We can’t just think about our loss and feel bad about our loss. We’ve got to come out here tomorrow and beat the team trying to beat us.”