BOSTON — It was just your typically wild Yankees-Red Sox affair at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.
It featured a stellar pitchers’ duel between Chris Sale and Luis Severino; a stunning game-tying solo shot by Matt Holliday off Craig Kimbrel that went over the Green Monster in the ninth inning; and the home team playing the game under protest due to a wacky play in extras.
The Yankees eventually won 4-1 in 16 innings. The marathon took 5 hours, 50 minutes. The teams combined to use 16 pitchers and throw 512 pitches.
Didi Gregorius and Austin Romine put the Bombers in front with consecutive RBI singles. Gary Sanchez added a sacrifice fly. Jacoby Ellsbury had led off the frame with a double to left, and Chase Headley followed with a single to center, setting up a three-run 16th against Doug Fister.
It was a much-needed victory for the Yankees, who had suffered a demoralizing loss on Friday night in which Aroldis Chapman blew the save and the game. The Bombers are now 3.5 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. They are 8-19 since starting 38-23.
Sale was his typically dominant self against the Yankees. The 28-year-old All-Star yielded just three hits, walked two and struck out 13 over 7.2 shutout innings.
In 13 career games against the Bombers, Sale owns a 1.17 ERA — the lowest for any pitcher in the last 100 years (min. 60 IP). It was his 13th double-digit strikeout performance of the season.
Severino was also terrific — his second brilliant start in Boston in 2017 — allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings.
The Red Sox played the game under protest due to a crazy play in the 11th in which Holliday did some of the strangest baserunning you will ever see. Boston felt he should’ve been called out for interference on Jacoby Ellsbury’s fielder’s choice grounder, but the play ultimately stood as called following a 4:59 delay.
Yankees’ relievers combined to throw nine scoreless innings.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It’s not going to get any nastier than the backfoot slider Chris Sale used to strike out Gary Sanchez in the first inning. The break on the pitch was silly. Remember, the White Sox had asked for Sanchez in their trade talks with the Yankees about Sale.
Matt Holliday blasted a 443-foot game-tying solo homer off Craig Kimbrel leading off the ninth. It was his 16th of the year and absolutely stunned the sellout crowd. It was also Kimbrel’s first blown save at home.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Chris Sale. In fact, John Farrell was booed when he came to the mound to get Sale after he recorded his second strikeout of Gary Sanchez — and 13th overall — on his season-high 118th pitch of the day.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Yankees are the only team in baseball that has yet to be shutout this season.
Starlin Castro (hamstring) returned from the disabled list and reached base twice against Chris Sale (double, walk). Castro also made a brilliant tag to retire potential base-stealer Tzu-Wei Lin in the eighth.
Aaron Judge went 0-for-6 with two walks and is still in search of his first second-half hit. Ronald Torreyes’ terrible series continued. He went 0-for-6 with a sacrifice bunt and didn’t hustle on a 12th-inning bunt that became a doubleplay.
Sunday at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (Game 1) CC Sabathia (7-3, 3.81 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (4-11, 4.75), 8:05 p.m. (Game 2) Masahiro Tanaka (7-8, 5.47 ERA) vs. David Price (4-2, 3.91)
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