What looked to be a potentially resilient comeback victory for the Boston Red Sox ended in shock.
The New York Yankees plated four runs in the eighth inning to lead them to a 9-6 win at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
Mitch Moreland, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez all hit home runs for Boston, with the latter being a two-run shot in the seventh to give the Red Sox a 7-6 advantage. But the tables turned an inning later, with a Brett Gardner two-RBI triple and an Aaron Judge two-run homer doing the damage.
The Red Sox fall to 25-11 with the loss, while the Yankees climb to 26-10 and claim the American League East lead.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
With home runs and extra-base hits aplenty, plus multiple lead changes, this one never lacked in excitement.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello has been stellar this season, and though he wasn’t necessarily bad Wednesday, it was his most challenging start to date. The 29-year-old finished the night having allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and as many strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
The Yankees jumped on Porcello quickly, with Gardner smacking a double to lead off the first inning. Gardner came home on a Judge single the next at bat to make it 1-0.
After an uneventful second, the righty got into more trouble in the third. Gardner belted another leadoff double, followed by a Judge walk. With one out, Giancarlo Stanton brought the two runners in with a double to right field. Porcello then allowed Gary Sanchez to single, and with runners on the corners, Aaron Hicks brought Stanton home with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
Porcello posted a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth. With the bags juiced, Sanchez roped a sacrifice fly to center to score Judge and make it 5-3. But despite the potential damage that could have been done, Porcello escaped the frame having allowed just the one run.
— Brian Johnson did a solid job in relief, entering the game with one out in the sixth and a runner on first. He retired both batters he faced in the frame to strand the runner. The lefty retired the first batter he saw in the seventh before getting lifted.
— Carson Smith replaced Johnson, not allowing a run in the seventh off one hit with a strikeout.
— Matt Barnes entered with a clean eighth inning, but got off to a bad start by allowing a leadoff single to Neil Walker. Walker moved to third on a Miguel Andujar groundout, then Barnes put runners on the corners by walking Gleyber Torres, which marked the end of his night.
— Craig Kimbrel entered, and allowed Gardner to clear the bases with a stand-up triple to give the Yankees back the lead. Both runs were charged to Barnes.
The next at-bat, Kimbrel surrendered a home run to Judge to straightaway center field to put the Yankees up 9-6.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— With Xander Bogaerts on first base in the top of the second, Moreland crushed a two-run shot into the Yankee bullpen to give the Sox a 2-1 advantage.
— The Red Sox trailed by two in the fifth, but a Benintendi solo homer to the right field bleachers cut the Yankees lead to one.
— As the Sox trailed 5-3 in the sixth, Xander Bogaerts led off the frame with a double. Moreland grounded out the next at-bat, but moved to Bogaerts to third on the out. Eduardo Nunez then came through with a sacrifice fly to center to plate the shortstop and narrow the deficit back to one.
— Down one in the seventh, Ramirez made an impact in a big way. Benintendi worked a walk with two outs, and the next at-bat, the designated hitter launched a moonshot to left field to put the Sox ahead 6-5.
— There was a chance for the Red Sox to add some insurance in the eighth as they loaded the bases with two outs, but Benintendi grounded out to second to end the inning.
— Bogaerts had three hits while Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez each had a pair.
— Benintendi, Ramirez, Moreland, Nunez and Sandy Leon all had one hit.
— Mookie Betts and pinch-hitter Brock Holt went hitless.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Big mood Wednesday night.
The two sides will meet Thursday night for the series finale of the three-game set. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball and will be opposed by CC Sabathia.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images