Drew switches roles to keep Yankees in pennant race

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 02, 2015 12:25 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Stephen Drew's bat is keeping the Yankees afloat after the second baseman, known more for his defensive play, delivered another big hit to help New York earn a 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

Drew delivered the go-ahead, two-run double in the fifth inning and is 6-for-8 with four runs and six RBIs in his past three games, including a 4-for-4 outing in a 20-6 win at Atlanta on Sunday.

"It's been good, this past month," said Drew, who had his most productive August with three home runs and 11 RBIs. "I felt good at the plate, staying inside the ball little more."

Drew, whose defense helped the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2013, had an unceremonious tenure in Boston, particularly at the plate, but still enjoys playing at Fenway Park.

"It's a special place and to come in here and know we're in a pennant race here, to come out with a win on the other side it's a good feeling," Drew said. "Hopefully, we'll keep this thing going."

Had it not been for Drew, the Yankees would have lost more ground in the AL East pennant race.

New York (72-58) remains 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East standings after Blue Jays second baseman Ryan Goins' walk-off, two-run homer on Tuesday.

At the very least, it was a step in the right direction after the Yankees left 14 men on base in Monday's 4-3 defeat in the series opener. On Tuesday, New York stranded only three.

"The gratifying thing at this time of the year is wins, no matter how you do it," New York manager Joe Girardi said.

"If you get a break or however it happens, that's the gratifying thing. But our guys hit well when we had to and huge hit from Stephen Drew."

Drew went 1-for-3 on a night when Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello had a career-high 13 strikeouts, although Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner also got to the pticher for an eighth-inning solo home run.

New York right-hander Michael Pineda (10-8) kept the Boston bats quiet, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out seven in six innings.

Left-hander Andrew Miller, another former Boston player, struck out three in the ninth inning for his 29th save.

(Editing by John O'Brien)