BRONX, N.Y. — Make that 10 consecutive victories for the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox. A four-game sweep in the Bronx improved the Yanks record to 7-0 against the Sawx this season. It was yet another series victory for the Yankees, who have won six consecutive contests and reside atop the American League East at 16-6.
Gerrit Cole was introduced to the rivalry. Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres essentially introduced themselves to the 2020 season as the new dynamic duo stepping up for the absence of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. All of it added up to a 10-3 Yankee victory.
Yes, I know, wins don’t matter anymore, saved you an email. Yet, Cole maintained his unbeaten streak against the Red Sox. Cole was a hoss and much more economical in this outing. The New York ace tossed seven innings with eight K’s, scattering four hits and allowing one run. The one run was a homer by Alex Verdugo in the fourth frame.
Last June we saw Torres and Sanchez get on a roll, at one point the two homered in three consecutive contests. Both stepped up Friday evening. The Yankee shortstop got the ball rolling with a two-run double to right off Colten Brewer in the third inning. It was only the beginning of a big 4-for-4 night.
So, save for Aaron Hicks, the pandemic break bought the Yankees outfield/DH situation about three weeks of normalcy. This is essentially what the Yankees would’ve sported back in late March. Thankfully, these guys stepped up big time.
The aforementioned Tauchman added to his barrage with RBI singles in the seventh and eighth. Clint Frazier followed Tauchman in the seventh stanza by smashing a two-run double.
IT CAN’T BE THAT EASY
This one never truly got close but it did get slightly annoying. Once again the Yankees couldn’t get through a game without calling upon the services of either Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, or Zack Britton. After Jonathan Holder recorded one out in the eighth inning, Ottavino was summoned to work out of trouble. Ben Heller worked a scoreless ninth inning, so at least there was that.
This game went from close to a laugher in a hot minute. Frazier was even playing defense in this one. The only negative was a thumb sprain for DJ LeMahieu following an awkward swing. New York otherwise walked all over Boston, 11-5.
Aaron Boone had to get creative with his 2-3-4 spots and slid Gio Urshela into the cleanup role, Saturday evening. The Yankee third baseman spotted the pinstripes with a two-run lead, smacking a two-run homer to right off ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi in the first frame.
It was a bit of a step back for James Paxton. The Yankee southpaw yielded a two-run single to J.D. Martinez and a solo homer to left-center to Xander Bogaerts in the third inning. Paxton went five frames, scattered six hits, walked one, and fanned a pair. Incredibly, the rest of the pen managed to essentially hold the Bosox in check without needing to use the top three relievers.
Sanchez put the pinstripes back quickly in the fourth frame. The New York catcher smoked a two-run tater to left. See, that was my whole preseason plan, all of these guys get injured and Sanchez comes to the rescue and boom, MVP! Who says no?
Frazier was dialed in. Playing right-field, Frazier went 3-for-3 with five-RBI. His big drive came during the sixth inning, driving a three-run homer to the porch. He capped off his evening with a two-run ripped single to left in the seventh inning.
Even Tyler Wade got into the act, filling in for LeMahieu, Wade smoked an RBI-double off Heath Hembree in the sixth. The double scored Gardner, who’d doubled previously. Gardner would cap off the onslaught with a sac fly RBI in the seventh.
The Yanks doused the Sawx spirits early for a 4-2 victory. Mike Ford was getting compared to Babe Ruth but then the Red Sox pitching staff is making a lot of players look like the Bambino this season.
THIS IS FORDY
Ford did his best Ruth impression against Joe DiMaggio’s distant cousin, Chris Mazza. With Urshela and Tauchman reaching on singles, Ford lined a two-out RBI-single to center for a 1-0 edge in the first frame.
Aaron Hicks doubled the advantage with an RBI-double to right in the second stanza.
Moving to the third, Ford was back at it again. After a single by Torres, Ford went up the ladder and cracked a two-run tater to right to cap off the Bronx Bombers offense.
J.A. Happ was not happy with Aaron Boone’s decision to skip him in the starting rotation. One can hardly blame the Yankee skipper given Happ’s bloated ERA. Yet, on Sunday night, Happ delivered what one would’ve hoped for, some length and beating a sorry team you should handle with ease.
Happ toiled for 5.2 frames, fanned three, walked two, allowed three hits and one run, a solo shot to left by Kevin Pillar in the third inning.
From there, the combination of Ottavino, Green, and Britton, essentially held down the Bosox from there.
It wouldn’t be a Yankees-Red Sox game if I wasn’t able to watch the entire Celtics-76ers fourth quarter during a rain delay. The rain delay, delayed the inevitable, a 6-3 New York victory.
Aside from an RBI-double from Hicks in the first frame, off Martin Perez, it was all about dropping bombs in the Bronx. Luke Voit would send home Hicks on a two-run thrash that to center that inning as well.
Jordan Montgomery deserved better but the skies opened up and ended his evening sooner than any Boston batter could. Montgomery held the Bosox without a hit, two outs into the fourth inning. A Christian Vazquez RBI-single that inning would be the lone blip on his screen and then the rains came.
RING THE ALARM
While Luis Avilan and Michael King provided the bridge to the ninth inning, the big news was the return of Aroldis Chapman, who looked like you’d never know gyms have been closed in New York since March. After retiring Verdugo on a line out to shortstop, Chapman had to shake off some rust. Jose Peraza tripled to center. Jonathan Arauz doubled home Peraza with an RBI-double to left. Yet, Chapman would rebound, whiffing Pillar on a breaking ball and then whiffing Rafael Devers on a 101 mph fastball to end the contest.