It was a very rainy Sunday night at Fenway, but it was all worth it for the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees on Sunday night by a final score of 8-7. It wasn't pretty, but David Price earned his fourth victory for the Red Sox. Ivan Nova picked up the loss, while Craig Kimbrel notched his eighth save.
With the sweep, Boston moves atop the AL East at 15-10 with the loss from the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees' record continues to fall, as it is now at 8-15 after losing five straight.
Red Sox jump out on front early
In the first inning, it was Boston who got things started right away. Travis Shaw made a very nice play that retired the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate, and Xander Bogaerts followed with a great diving catch to retire the side.
Up came the offense, and they came out swinging right away. Mookie Betts recorded a leadoff single, and Dustin Pedroia followed with the first of his three hits on the day. The next batter, Xander Bogaerts, grounded into a fielder's choice, but it was good enough to score Betts from third.
Yankees have two great innings, but Red Sox answer back both times
The Yankees would wait until the third inning to make their mark, but they made their statement in a big way. Ronald Torreyes got the unusual start at shortstop, and singled to open up the third. Austin Romine bunted him over to second, bringing up Ellsbury with a runner on second. The former Red Sox would connect with his second double, giving the Yankees their first run since early in the first game of the series.
The Yankees, however, would not be finished with their third inning. Alex Rodriguez came up with two outs with Ellsbury still on base, and got the pitch he was looking for. Rodriguez took a high fastball and immediately deposited it over the Green Monster in left field. The home run was "A-Rod's" 692nd of his story book career, bringing him one step closer to become the fourth player in MLB history with 700 home runs along with: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. The homer made it 3-1 New York at the time.
Boston would come right back and score three runs of their own. Pedroia and Bogaerts would both single with one out, and David Ortiz would follow with a walk. That brought up Hanley Ramirez with the bases loaded, and he came through with a single up the middle to score Pedroia and Bogaerts.
With two outs in the inning, the Red Sox caught a bit of a break. Brock Holt lined a single into right field, and Ortiz came across to score a footstep before Ramirez was tagged out to end the inning. Ortiz was not running full speed, and the play would be upheld after the Yankees challenged it. The three run inning brought Boston back on top at 4-3.
In the fifth inning, it was more of the same. After Romine struck out, Ellsbury was hit and Brett Gardner walked, bringing up Rodriguez with two runners on with just one out. Rodriguez got to Price again, this time stroking a ball to center that hit off the wall, scoring both runners. The next batter, Mark Teixeira, would follow single down the left field line on the first pitch scoring Rodriguez. Price received some boos, but got out of the inning without any more harm.
But just like the third inning, the Red Sox would answer. Ortiz led off the inning with a single, and after Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder's choice, Travis Shaw stepped in. Shaw laced a hanging breaking ball from Nathan Eovaldi, and the ball curved around the Pesky Pole for a home run. Shaw's third home run of the season would tie the game up at 6-6. Eovaldi would exit in the sixth with a final line of 5.0 innings, 10 hits, six runs, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Red Sox close it out
In the top of the seventh inning, Price would go back out there and retire the Yankees in order. It wasn't a pretty start for the lefty, but he earned the win nonetheless. He finished 7.0 innings allowing eight hits, six runs, one walk, and struck out three. The outing comes one start after his 14 strike out performance against the Atlanta Braves.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Red Sox bats needed to come alive against a strong Yankees bullpen. Nova allowed one baserunner of the three hitters he faced, but Joe Girardi elected to hand the ball off to Dellin Betances with two outs against Christian Vazquez. In his last outing, Betances gave up a go-ahead two run home run to David Ortiz.
Vazquez is not known for his bat, but changed that with his at-bat in the seventh. Vazquez hit a monster home run that cleared everything in left field. The ball sailed off his bat, and gave the Red Sox an 8-6 lead. Betances entering the series gave up just one run in ten innings and did not allow a home run, but in this series alone, he gave up three runs and two home runs in just 1.2 innings.
Koji Uehara came out for the eighth, and struggled mildly. Uehara did not have his best command, walking a hitter and allowing Starlin Castro to score on a wild pitch. The Red Sox still held a 8-7 lead.
Kimbrel came on in the ninth, and boy is he hard to hit. He retired the Yankees in order, including two strikeouts, leading to a Red Sox win. Kimbrel struggled a bit at the beginning of the season, but has picked up his play recently.
Both teams will take Monday off to travel. Boston heads to Chicago to face the red-hot Chicago White Sox. Steven Wright will go against Jose Quintana. New York will travel down to Baltimore to face the Baltimore Orioles. Luis Severino will match up against Chris Tillman.