By Associated Press,
NEW YORK — With the Yankees trailing Boston by two runs with one on and two outs in the eighth inning, Mark Teixeira stepped to the plate against nemesis Vicente Padilla.
After falling behind 2-0 in the count, Padilla lobbed in a 51 mph curveball for a strike. Teixeira turned on the next pitch, sending it deep into the right-field bleachers. He stared at the ball as he took four short steps up the line, then went into his home run trot.
“There’s no problem. If he hits me again, there might be a problem,” Teixeira said with a laugh. “But until then, we’ll just play baseball.”
When the Yankees and Red Sox meet, there’s always something. Often, more than one thing.
New York wasted Teixeira’s homer, which capped a comeback from a five-run deficit, when All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson misplayed Pedro Ciriaco’s ninth-inning fly ball into an RBI triple that led the Red Sox to an 8-6 victory Saturday night.
“Weird plays happen,” Teixeira said. “Curtis is a Gold Glove-caliber defender and right off the bat, didn’t see it off the bat. That happens. Unfortunately, it was in a big spot tonight.”
Teixeira hit a go-ahead, two-run triple off Padilla in the seventh inning at Fenway Park on July 6, sparking a weekend war of words. Padilla accused Teixeira of wronging Latino teammates when they played together on the Texas Rangers in 2006-07, and Teixeira said Padilla threw at hitters and “didn’t have a lot of friends in the game.” Padilla responded Teixeira would “be better off playing a women’s sport.”
Teixeira said he’s been trying to put the tiff behind.
“Emotion is part of the game, but if you let the emotions get the best of you, especially as a hitter, you swing too hard or you swing at pitches over your head, that does you no good,” he said.
Padilla wouldn’t discuss anything with media. As reporters approached him in the locker room, he said: “About what? One bad day?” before turning and walking out.
Rafael Soriano (2-1) relieved to start the ninth and walked Jacoby Ellsbury with one out. Ciriaco hit a hard fly ball toward center field and thought Granderson would catch it. Then Granderson went in on the ball and sprinted back in an attempt to catch up.
“I thought I had a chance,” Ciriaco said, “so I run like a hurricane.”
Ellsbury scored as Granderson fell. Ciriaco, who had three hits, came home on Dustin Pedroia’s sacrifice fly.
Adrian Gonzalez had four RBIs for the last-place Red Sox, who built a 6-1 lead for Jon Lester.
“We were good tonight, and we were lucky,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He hit that ball, a knuckleball, 380 feet. It’s tough to catch. He’s pretty hot right now, so I’d say he was good and we were lucky.”
A three-time All-Star, Granderson had expected to make the catch.
“I didn’t think it was hit as hard as it was,” he said. “And, by the time I tried to get back on it, I couldn’t get enough steam to get back to it.”
It was Granderson’s second fielding flub against the Red Sox. The Yankees were ahead 3-1 in the second game of a July 7 doubleheader when Granderson called for Daniel Nava’s fly ball and allowed it to bounce off his glove as right fielder Darnell McDonald moved past him. Granderson initially was charged with an error, but the official scorer later changed it to McDonald’s.