• Ellsbury returns, helps Yanks beat Red Sox 9-3
    the associated press | April 23,2014
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    BOSTON — Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, tripled, drove in two runs and made a sliding catch in his return to Fenway Park, helping the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka beat the Boston Red Sox 9-3 on Tuesday night.

    Ellsbury received a mixed reception in his first game as a visitor after seven seasons with the Red Sox before signing a $153 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees.

    Tanaka (3-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. His 35 strikeouts in his first four major league starts set a team record and he’s walked just two batters in 29 1-3 innings.

    Jon Lester (2-3) struggled after four outstanding outings, allowing seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.



    Marlins 1, Braves 0

    ATLANTA — Jose Fernandez gave credit to his catcher and even claimed he had “a lucky game.”

    The Braves weren’t buying it.

    Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings and combined with Steve Cishek on a three-hitter as the Miami Marlins shut out Atlanta 1-0 on Tuesday night.

    “He pitched amazing,” said Atlanta’s Chris Johnson. “We went up against a buzz-saw today.”

    Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said his hitters “were coming back shaking their heads.”

    Fernandez (3-1) outpitched Atlanta’s Alex Wood (2-3), who also was dominant. Wood allowed four hits and one run with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings.

    But the night belonged to Fernandez.

    “I think it would be fair to say that was probably his best-pitched game as far as his stuff and his command,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond.

    Fernandez struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings. He allowed three hits with no walks but said he didn’t have that kind of control in the bullpen before the game.

    “My breaking ball in the bullpen was horrible, horrible,” Fernandez said. “But I thought to myself that when they say `play ball’ it gets better.”

    Fernandez said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia deserved credit for the way he helped keep Atlanta’s batters off-balance.

    “He was just amazing back there,” Fernandez said. “I can’t explain how good he was.”

    Gonzalez said Fernandez, 21, has more dominant games in his future.

    “He’s got the capability of running those type of games out every time he goes out,” Gonzalez said.

    When told he was receiving postgame compliments in the Braves’ clubhouse, Fernandez shrugged and said “That was a lucky game today, I think.”

    The Marlins gave Fernandez the only run he would need in the fourth. Giancarlo Stanton hit a one-out double to left field and scored on Casey McGehee’s single up the middle.

    Jason Heyward led off the first with a single to left field, and the Braves didn’t have another hit until Chris Johnson’s leadoff single in the eighth. Fernandez then struck out Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis before Andrelton Simmons’ infield single moved pinch-runner Tyler Pastornicky to second.

    Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit grounded out to Fernandez to end the eighth.

    The eight innings matched Fernandez’s career high. He was at 109 pitches after the eighth, so Redmond said it was an easier call to bring in Cishek for the ninth.



    Blue Jays 9, Orioles 3

    TORONTO — Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera each hit three-run homers in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 Tuesday night.

    Edwin Encarnacion connected for his first homer of the season for Toronto, another three-run drive. Lawrie’s long ball off Evan Meek (0-1) snapped a 3-all tie in front of a sparse crowd of 14,866 at Rogers Centre. Cabrera connected for his fifth of the season off Josh Stinson, putting the Blue Jays in front, 9-3.

    Esmil Rogers pitched a scoreless ninth for Toronto and reliever Steve Delabar (2-0) picked up the win to help the Blue Jays improve to 3-1 against the Orioles this season.

    It was a pitchers’ duel early.

    Baltimore was unable to solve Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey through five innings, but the club’s fortunes changed in the sixth. After Steve Lombardozzi hit a leadoff double, Dickey issued a walk to put two on for Nelson Cruz, who hit a three-run homer, his fourth of the season, to put the Orioles ahead, 3-0.

    The Orioles didn’t hold the lead for long.

    Like Dickey, Baltimore starter Miguel Gonzalez cruised through five innings and entered the sixth with a lead, but gave it right back in a hurry. With two on and one out, Encarnacion crushed his first homer of the season to tie it at 3.

    Gonzalez lasted 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits, while walking two and striking out a season-high seven. T.J. McFarland, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk prior to the game, relieved Gonzalez and stranded a pair of runners to get the Orioles out of the inning.

    Dickey came back out for the seventh and was quickly chased after allowing back-to-back hits to put runners on second and third, but Baltimore came up short.

    With the bases loaded and one out, left-hander Brett Cecil struck out a pair of batters to escape the seventh unharmed. Dickey allowed three runs on six hits, walked three and struck out six.

    The Orioles fell to 2-3 on their current seven-game road trip.



    Cardinals 3, Mets 0

    NEW YORK — Adam Wainwright threw seven neat innings before leaving with a knee injury, and Jon Jay hit a two-run single that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

    Left fielder Matt Holliday robbed Chris Young of a tying homer, one night after the Mets played some dazzling defense of their own to post a shutout in the series opener.

    Wainwright (4-1) faced the minimum through four innings and outpitched Dillon Gee.

    It was the second consecutive scoreless start for Wainwright, who tossed a two-hit shutout last Thursday at Washington.
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