One swing of the bat was all that Jarrod Saltalamacchia needed to put the New York Yankees away for good on Friday night.
“Salty” took a 7th-inning pitch over the right field wall for a grand slam, and in the process, broke a 4-4 tie for good. It was the cap on a 2-for-3 night for the Red Sox catcher, but that one swing single-handedly propelled Boston to their 90th win of the season. The home run was the 13th of the year for the former Ranger, and he’s been a blessing in the highest order for Boston this season, posting a .454 slugging percentage from the backstop position.
Elsewhere, Boston got a win despite a subpar outing from John Lackey. Lackey allowed 4 earned runs over 6.1 innings, but fortunately, the game wasn’t out of hand when he exited. That was, in part, due to the struggles of New York’s Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed 4 runs in the 1st inning to stake the Red Sox to an early lead.
The Yankees would battle back valiantly on the strength of Brendan Ryan (who unexpectedly homered) and Robinson Cano (who tied the game at 4-4 with a 2-run double), but it wasn’t enough thanks to the heroics of Saltalamacchia. It may not be a “landmark” victory for the season in Boston, but there is a real possibility that Salty’s home run could be the one that keeps the hated Yankees out of the playoffs this season.