Chien-Ming Wang had faced the minimum over his first 4 2/3 innings on Friday and had a decent bid going for a no-hitter when J.D. Drew hit a deep fly to right field. Abreu backed up, jumped and banged against the fence, tipping the ball with his glove before it landed in the Red Sox's bullpen for a solo home run.
"It just kind of jarred him a little bit, and that's going to happen," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Bobby had a bead on it, but he jumped and he hit the wall with his right shoulder."
That, by itself, wouldn't have been so bad if Wang hadn't kept cruising. Wang's no-hitter and shutout both gone, the Red Sox kept going down in trios until Coco Crisp legged out a bunt single with two outs in the ninth inning, leaving Wang with a two-hitter to remember and Abreu with an ill-timed jump to lament.
"I thought about that," Abreu said. "If I caught that ball, it would have been a different game -- different situations in the game. I saw the innings going and going, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, and I was like, 'Oh, man.' A lot of things went through my head."
Abreu said that there was nothing he would have done differently except, of course, catch the ball.
"I felt bad," he said. "It could have been a chance to no-no there. We try to do the best we can do."
Wang said that he thought Abreu would catch the ball, but the two did not exchange comments on New York's bench about the play during the Yankees' 4-1 victory.
"He's a calm, humble guy," Abreu said. "He knows we just go out there and try to do our best. He had no complaints about it."
Abreu said he took no relief in Crisp's bunt single moving Boston's hit column to two instead of just one.
"We won, and that's the most important thing," Abreu said. "It could have been a chance for Chien-Ming Wang to pitch a no-hitter today, but the most important thing was that we played better today and scored some runs."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.