For seven innings the Yankees were completely punchless. It looked like Boston was going to cruise to a victory in the first game of this pivotal three-game set between the top two teams in the AL East.
But the Yankees made a stirring late-game comeback, putting up five runs in the eighth to hand a gut-punch of a loss to the Red Sox, 5-4, and pull to within 3½ games of Boston for the AL East lead. The Yanks (61-53) scored their first four runs with no outs in the eighth and snapped Boston’s eight-game winning streak after nearly falling to a season-worst 5½ games out of the division lead.
Todd Frazier, the Toms River native, came through with the go-ahead hit in the eighth, an RBI single to plate Aaron Judge and give the Yankees the lead. The Yanks sent 11 batters to the plate in the eighth.
Aroldis Chapman nearly imploded in the ninth like he did on July 14 in Boston, walking the first three batters, but Eduardo Nunez was thrown out at third by Aaron Hicks trying to advance on a sac fly for a double play and Chapman escaped with the save.
The Yankees can tip their cap to the Mets for what transpired in this one as all four of their runs came against Addison Reed, whom the Red Sox acquired from the Mets at the trade deadline. He gave up a two-run homer to Aaron Hicks after hitting pinch-hitter Brett Gardner with a pitch, allowed a single to Gary Sanchez, threw a wild pitch and walked Judge before being pulled with no outs.
Jaime Garcia gave up three runs in 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks (one intentional) while striking out six. The Yanks had just two hits off Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched six shutout innings.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Hicks nabbed the ex-Yankee Nunez at third base on Andrew Benintendi’s sac fly for a huge double play before Mitch Moreland, who had replaced Hanley Ramirez, flew out to end the game.
Hicks’ high home run crept over the short porch down the line in right field to give the Yanks their first runs of the game and ignite what had been a restless crowd. If the ball went foul or fell short of the fence, the entire inning might not have happened.
STAR OF THE GAME
Hicks went 2-for-5 with the home run and a double in his second came off the disabled list from an oblique injury. Hicks started in left field and hit leadoff with Gardner not starting.
“Oh, I think so. I think it can really propel you and get you going again. We’ve done it a number of times where we got some big wins and they got us going on a nice streak.”
Joe Girardi on if a win like Friday’s can be a turning point
STAT OF THE DAY
.047. Yankees pitchers have held the Red Sox to a .047 batting average with runners in scoring position in 10 games this season (3-for-64.) Boston was 0-for-6 with RISP on Friday.
Adam Warren was excellent in relief of Garcia to keep Boston’s lead to three runs and give the offense a chance. After allowing a hit to the first batter he faced, he retired the next seven in a row. He struck out two in 2.1 innings.
Reed, who was making his fifth appearance for Boston and has allowed at least one run in two of his five outings.
Yankees vs. Red Sox
Saturday, Aug. 12, 4:05 p.m. TV: YES/FS1
RHP Luis Severino (9-4, 2.91) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (11-4, 3.36)
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