A number of things didn’t go right for the Boston Red Sox on Friday night against the New York Yankees.
Starter Drew Pomeranz, who entered Fenway Park with a 12-4 record, didn’t last very long in his 24th start of the season. The left-hander looked strong over 3 1/3 scoreless innings of work, but back spasms in the fourth inning forced Pomeranz out of the ball game.
Boston’s bullpen has impressed throughout the season, but it certainly wasn’t at its best in the series opener. Brandon Workman tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, but Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly and Heath Hembree struggled to get through the seventh, allowing four runs combined in the inning, giving the Yankees a late 6-3 lead.
But the Red Sox, as they’ve done all season, responded when it mattered most. In the bottom half of the seventh, Boston posted four runs of its own, capped off by a go-ahead, pinch-hit two-RBI single off the bat of Mitch Moreland. The Sox weren’t done there, though, as Jackie Bradley’s two-RBI single in the eighth gave Boston a three-run cushion en route to a 9-6 win.
After the game, Moreland praised his teammates for battling late.
“It seems like it’s been that way for us all year,” Moreland said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “We’ve got to continue to fight, and we’ve done a great job of it. Them putting up a four-spot in the top of the seventh and then us turning around and responding with our own four-spot in the bottom half is huge. Jackie tacks on the insurance runs in the next inning, and it was just a big win for us and a great way to start this series off.”
With the win, the Red Sox extended their lead over the Yankees in the American League East standings to five games. With two more games at home against its division foe, Boston has a chance to separate itself from the rest of the pack.
“Obviously it’s always nice to put some space between you and the next team,” Moreland said. “With them in here we’ve got an opportunity to do that and tonight was a big start at it.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Yankees.
— Rafael Devers blasted a two-run shot in the second inning, his seventh home run in 19 games. The rookie is just the third player under the age of 21 in Red Sox history to homer in back-to-back games, joining Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.
— Friday marked Boston’s 31st come-from-behind victory of the season, including each of its last three games against the Yankees.
— Since the start of 2014, Moreland leads Major League Baseball with a .459 average as a pinch hitter.
— Christian Vazquez went 3-for-3 with two singles and a home run. The Red Sox are 10-0 in Vazquez’s 10 career games in which he collected three-plus hits.
— Craig Kimbrel struck out the side to pick up his 29th save of the season. Boston’s closer has struck out multiple batters in each of his last seven appearances.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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