NEW YORK (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez homered for the fourth consecutive game and Josh Beckett shut down the skidding New York Yankees for the second time this season, sending the Boston Red Sox to a 6-0 victory Saturday on a bizarre night in the Bronx.
It all started when longtime star Jorge Posada asked to be taken out of the New York lineup after the slumping designated hitter was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order.
Posada, hitting .165 this season, was in the original lineup posted by manager Joe Girardi — ejected in the seventh inning by plate umpire Mike Winters following Gonzalez’s three-run shot.
But general manager Brian Cashman said Posada went into Girardi’s office at 6 p.m. and requested that he be removed.
Posada’s wife tweeted that the five-time All-Star had a stiff back. But a person familiar with the discussion between Posada and the team told The Associated Press that he “refused” to play.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was still not settled.
The person said the Yankees have been in contact with the commissioner’s office about possible recourse.
The Yankees could fine Posada one day’s pay — that would be $71,978 of his $13.1 million salary. If a player declines to play two days in a row, he could be put on the restricted list.
Andruw Jones took over at DH, and Posada was on the Yankees bench during the game, wearing a cap and sweat shirt.
His teammates weren’t much more productive, managing only four singles and two walks against Beckett (3-1) while dropping their fourth straight.
It is New York’s longest skid since losing four in a row Sept. 22-25.
The Yankees, who have dropped eight of 11 overall, fell to 1-4 against their longtime rivals this year.
Beckett struck out nine in six innings to win another marquee matchup with CC Sabathia (3-3). Last month at Fenway Park, also on national television, the right-hander struck out 10 while yielding just two singles and a walk in eight dominant innings for a 4-0 win over Sabathia and the Yankees.
This time, Beckett gave up singles to his first two batters, then set down Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano in order — two on strikeouts.
Beckett escaped more trouble in the third and fifth, then handed a 6-0 lead to the bullpen.
Matt Albers and Rich Hill completed the seven-hitter.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run double in the fifth and Jason Varitek added an RBI single in the seventh. Gonzalez chased Sabathia with a drive to right-center, his fifth homer in four games.
It also was Gonzalez’s first extra-base hit in 51 at-bats against left-handed pitchers this season, his first with Boston.
NOTES: The sellout crowd of 48,790 was New York’s largest of the season. … The Yankees have lost consecutive series at home. … Yankees RHP Carlos Silva allowed one run, three hits and struck out six in his first start at Double-A Trenton. He was released by the Chicago Cubs during spring training and agreed to a minor league contract with New York on April 9. … With strong career numbers against Sabathia, Mike Cameron started in RF for Boston, giving J.D. Drew a rest.