There was a whole lot of deja vu going on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
For the third straight game, the Boston Red Sox’s bullpen was unable to get the bottom third of the New York Yankees’ order out, leading to a late rally for the hometown club. And for the second straight contest, New York’s stars came through late, this time erasing a four-run Red Sox lead to tie the game in the seventh inning.
But the Yankees never took the lead, and unlike the events of Wednesday’s loss, Boston’s offense came through in the clutch. J.D. Martinez responded to the Yankees’ rally by muscling a solo home run out to right field, giving the Sox a 5-4 lead that the bullpen was able to nail down.
With the win, the Red Sox improve to 26-11, while the Yankees fall to 26-11.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox dropped the first two games of the series and blew a four-run lead Thursday, but Boston was able to retake the lead and hold off the Yankees to win the rubber match.
ON THE BUMP
— Eduardo Rodriguez turned in his best start of the season Thursday at Yankee Stadium, baffling New York’s vaunted lineup through five strong innings.
Due to a high pitch count and a 55-minute rain delay, Rodriguez left after the fifth inning in line for the win. He allowed one hit while striking out eight and walking three in five innings of work.
— Matt Barnes tossed a scoreless sixth inning.
— Heath Hembree came on in the seventh and gave up back-to-back singles to Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres before walking Neil Walker to load the bases, ending his night.
— Joe Kelly relieved Hembree and promptly issued a four-pitch walk to Brett Gardner to score a run and make it 4-1. Aaron Judge followed by rolling an RBI single through the left side to make it 4-2 and reload the bases. Didi Gregorius then bounced into a fielder’s choice that plated Walker to cut the deficit to one.
Giancarlo Stanton was next up, but before he could do any damage, Kelly spiked a curveball that got away from Christian Vazquez, allowing Gardner to score to tie the game at four.
Three of the four runs in the inning were charged to Hembree, one to Kelly.
Kelly came back out for the eighth and allowed two men to reach base, but he struck out Walker to end the inning.
— Craig Kimbrel got Gardner, Judge and Gregorius in order to earn the save.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston got to CC Sabathia early. Mookie Betts led off the game with a double, moved to third on an Andrew Benintendi groundout and scored when Hanley Ramirez bounced out to shortstop.
— The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the third inning. Betts led off the inning with a single to center and Benintendi followed with a double to right to put runners on second and third. Ramirez drove in his second run of the night by shooting a ground ball between first and second base.
Martinez then laced a line drive off the glove of Torres that scored Benintendi, but the second baseman was able to recover and get Ramirez at second base for the force out to limit the damage. The Red Sox led 3-0 after three innings.
— Ramirez tallied his third RBI of the night with a solo home run to open the fifth inning.
— The Yankees’ late-game momentum was short-lived, as Martinez led off the eighth inning with a solo home run to right field off Dellin Betances, giving Boston a 5-4 lead.
— Betts went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
— Ramirez tallied two hits and three RBI.
— Benintendi, Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez each had one hit.
— Mitch Moreland and Vazquez each went hitless.
TWEET OF THE GAME
The Red Sox will head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays on Friday. Chris Sale will get the start for Boston and will be opposed by Aaron Sanchez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images