The Boston Red Sox had an opportunity to put the pressure on the New York Yankees on Friday, and they didn’t squander it thanks to Rafael Devers.
As the Yankees were getting pounded by the Toronto Blue Jays, the Sox were trailing the last-place Cincinnati Reds by three at Great American Ball Park.
But Boston rallied for a four-run fourth inning that was capped off by a three-run home run by Devers. The Red Sox took the lead on the round-tripper and never looked back, taking Game 1 of the series 5-4 and growing their American League East lead to four games.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 89-64, and their magic number to clinch the AL East dropped to six.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
That home run saved the Sox from suffering a horrible loss at the worst time.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Craig Kimbrel recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the save.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello didn’t turn in the outing the Red Sox expected out of the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
Boston handed the right-hander an early one-run lead, but Porcello was unable to hold it, as he surrendered four runs in the bottom of the first inning. The righty allowed the first three batters to reach before giving up a grand slam to Scooter Gennett.
Porcello allowed only one hit after the first inning, but he wasn’t long for the game, as he was lifted after four innings. He allowed four runs on four hits while striking out three and walking three.
— David Price came out of the bullpen and looked pretty good. The left-hander gave up three hits while striking out four and walking one in 2 2/3 innings. He left with two on and two outs in the seventh inning.
— Addison Reed recorded the final out of the seventh inning. The righty also tossed a scoreless eighth.
— Kimbrel earned his 34th save of the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mitch Moreland got the Red Sox on the board with a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
— Boston mounted a comeback in the fourth inning against right-hander Sal Romano. Mookie Betts led off the inning with a double to right, and Moreland followed with a walk. Christian Vazquez plated Betts with a double to right-center field, and then Devers deposited a three-run home run into the right-field seats to give the Sox a 5-4 lead.
— Devers went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
— Xander Bogaerts, Betts, Vazquez and Price each had a hit.
— Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi and Moreland each went hitless but got on base via walks.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went hitless.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Baseball, what a sport.
The Red Sox will continue their three-game series with the Reds on Saturday. Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Robert Stephenson. First pitch from Great American Ball Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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