6/27 Red Sox-Yankees Series Recap
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees squared off this past weekend in a three-game set at Fenway Park, the teams’ second head-to-head series of the season. Boston entered the series at 44-31, having just dropped two straight to the Tampa Bay Rays. New York entered at 40-34, and was fresh off of winning the final two games in their series against the Kansas City Royals. The Sox were looking for a strong series to take back first place from the Rays, while the Yankees were trying to close the gap in the Wild Card Race.
The first game of the series pitted Martin Pérez for the Sox against Domingo German of the Yankees. Both pitchers struggled in the early going, with Boston scoring 3 in the first off of RBI doubles from Xander Bogaerts and Hunter Renfroe. Pérez gave the lead right back in the top of the 2nd, walking in a run before DJ LeMahieu tied the game at 3 with a single.
Renfroe came through once again for the Sox in the 3rd, hitting a sacrifice fly to break the tie. After the early excitement, both teams’ pitchers settled in nicely. Hirokazu Sawamura, former Yankees Garrett Whitlock and Adam Ottavino, and Matt Barnes combined to throw 5.1 shutout innings. Whitlock tossed 2 scoreless, allowing one hit and striking out two, to earn the win.
German was able to make it through 4, unlike Pérez, and the Yankees pen was similarly effective, allowing one run in 4 innings on a Christian Vazquez RBI single. The Yankees offense couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain, however, and the Sox took game one.
Nathan Eovaldi got the start for Boston in the second game of the series, looking to continue his dominance against New York. Jordan Montgomery, meanwhile, got the call for New York. Eovaldi did, in fact, dominate. The hard throwing righty went 7.2 innings, allowing one run on a solo shot by LeMahieu with 2 outs in the 8th. Montgomery was less successful, although was not awful, going 6 strong while allowing 3 runs on sacrifice flies to Kiké Hernandez and Bobby Dalbec, and an RBI single to Renfroe who continued his productive series. The Sox scored another in the bottom of the 7th on a Bogaerts sac fly, which at the time made in 4-0 Boston.
After Eovaldi left with a 4-1 lead, however, Boston’s pen struggled to get the final four outs. Sawamura came in for the second consecutive night, and walked all three batters he faced to load the bases with 2 outs. Ottavino, also appearing for the second straight night, was able to induce a ground out to end the threat. He came back out to pitch the 9th, and again the Sox bullpen provided far more drama than was necessary. Ottavino induced a fly out before giving up a single with one out. Rougned Odor hit into a fielder’s choice, before Brett Gardner drew a walk. LeMahieu again came through for New York, singling home a run and bringing Aaron Judge to the plate, representing the go-ahead run. Fortunately, Ottavino was able to strike out the power-hitting righty to end the comeback attempt, and the game.
The final game of the series looked to be New York’s best chance to avoid the sweep, with Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole facing off against the struggling Eduardo Rodriguez. Boston’s offense, however, had other ideas. After Rodriguez cruised through a 1-2-3 top of the 1st, Hernandez jumped all over Cole’s first pitch of the game, depositing it in the monster seats and giving the Sox a quick 1-0 lead. After an Alex Verdugo double, a J.D. Martinez walk, and a Bogaerts fly out, Rafael Devers absolutely demolished an 0-2 fastball. The young slugger hit the ball 451 feet into the right-field bleachers, his 19th homer of the season, and Boston had a 4-0 lead early. Rodriguez tossed scoreless innings in the 2nd and 3rd with minimal drama, and Martinez added to Boston’s lead with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. Bogaerts followed with a single and advanced on an error. After Devers grounded out and Renfroe walked, Vazquez made it 6-0 with a sac fly.
Rodriguez continued to shut down New York before allowing a two-run homer to Judge in the 6th. He finished off the inning, however, and his final line of 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, and 8 strikeouts was encouraging for a struggling, but talented, pitcher. Cole, meanwhile, was removed after 5, having given up 6 runs (5 earned), and New York’s bullpen continued to struggle. Luis Cessa came in for the 6th, setting down the Sox in order. He came back out for the 7th, however, and gave up a run on a Bogaerts double and a Devers RBI single. That RBI was Devers’ 64th of the year, tying him with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the league lead. Brooks Kriske entered for New York in the 8th, and wasn’t any more successful than Cole or Cessa at stifling Boston’s bats. He gave up a homer to Vazquez to lead off the inning, hit Marwin Gonzalez, gave up a single to Danny Santana, and a check swing double to Hernandez, making it 9-2 Boston.
After Rodriguez was lifted, Darwinzon Hernandez, Whitlock, and Yacksel Rios combined to shutout the Yankees for the final three innings, securing the win, and the sweep, for Boston.
The sweep was Boston’s second against New York this season, making the Sox 6-0 against the Yankees in 2021, with 7 straight wins against their rivals going back to last year. It left the Sox at 47-31, and a Rays’ loss to the Los Angeles Angels gave Boston sole possession of first place in the American League East. The Yankees, meanwhile, fell to 40-37, dropping into 4th place in the AL East and 5 games out of the second Wild Card spot.
The Red Sox will take on the Kansas City Royals in a four-game series at Fenway Park, starting Monday night.