BOSTON, Mass. — The New York Yankees continued their dominance of the Boston Red Sox, taking two of three contests at Fenway Park this weekend. New York further improved its positioning in the playoff hunt for home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason.
It didn’t look promising early but the Yankees would not allow themselves to lose to the Red Sox. Even Rob Manfred’s extra-inning runner rule couldn’t prevent these two from staging a marathon. After 12 innings, the Yankees came away with a 6-5 victory, their ninth straight.
Even the Yankees “death star” lineup couldn’t solve Martin Perez for six innings. A guy who pitches to contact. I guess “that’s baseball.”
Also breaking from the Yankees recent winning trend was quality starting pitching. Jordan Montgomery allowed four runs in 4.2 frames, with the big blow being a three-run homer to left by Christian Arroyo in the third inning.
Following Perez’s exit, the Yankee bats woke up. A two-run ground-rule double to right by Gary Sanchez, against Darwinzon Hernandez, cut the Boston lead in half.
With Jonathan Loaisiga on in the bottom half of the inning, a nice throw home by Aaron Hicks in center with one out and Christian Vazquez on third helped preserve the advantage on a Jackie Bradley Jr. fly out. A Michael Chavis ground out to Gleyber Torres ended the game.
After toying with the Red Sox in the first game, the Yankees went back to their formula of pouncing early and getting solid starting pitching. In chilly Boston, the Yankees built a snowman for an 8-0 win. It was the tenth straight victory for New York.
EARLY AND OFTEN
The offense jumped on Chris Mazza early. Gio Urshela lifted a bases-l0aded sac fly RBI to right to put New York on top 1-0. Clint Frazier followed with an RBI-single to left.
During the fourth frame, an RBI-single to right by Kyle Higashioka made it a 3-0 advantage and a ground out by Tyler Wade increased the lead to 4-0. New York took full advantage of two Boston errors during the inning as well.
Breaking into the Red Sox bullpen in the fifth inning, Voit kept his hot hitting going with an RBI-single to left.
Later in the frame, Frazier, who lent his mock turtleneck to Brett Gardner and saved a bug, smacked an oppo taco two-run tater to right off Dylan Covey. It was all part of a three-hit evening for Frazier.
Capping off the offense was another sac fly by Urshela in the eighth inning and eight was enough.
HE’S A HAPPENIN’ CAT
J.A. Happ provided the Yankees with their longest outing by a starter this season. It was a rare old school performance by the veteran lefty. The southpaw used his two-seamer to perfection, dealing eight scoreless frames, fanning nine, scattering four hits with zero walks on 113 pitches. That was the 2018 and even 2019 down the stretch Happ the club needed in Sept. His ERA sits at 3.25, better than any Yankee starter not named Gerrit Cole. Give him credit for keeping his head up and battling this season.
Well, you can’t win them all. There wasn’t much to write home about in this 10-2 clunker loss. Some rando Red Sox fan broke into Fenway Park and Erik Kratz pitched and that was about all the excitement in the afternoon.
The Red Sox lineup kept targeting the Green Monster and Deivi Garcia kept running the ball back out over the heart of the plate. The combination did not bode well for the Yankees.
Garcia yielded six runs in three innings, including home runs to Michael Chavis in the second and third innings.
ESCAPE FROM THE ASYLUM
During the eighth inning, some random Red Sox fan managed to break into the park and climb up on to the Green Monster. He walked over to the camera well, started shouting, and threw a hat onto the field. It was the most 2020/Boston thing ever.
Kratz took to the bump in the bottom half of the eighth. He tossed his knuckler and his outing was essentially what one would expect it to be. The backup catcher worked one inning and allowed a solo homer to left by J.D. Martinez.
Down 10-1 in the 8th, the Yankees brought catcher Erik Kratz in to pitch. And he broke out the knuckler. 😂 pic.twitter.com/hwlIDO0AHy